Cocolife survived a sluggish opening set to book a 15-21, 21-18, 17-15 victory over powerhouse F2 Logistics A on opening day of the 2017 Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Thursday at the SM By the Bay in Mall of Asia.
Wensh Tiu was impressive when it mattered, delivering a beautiful drop shot before watching Fritz Gallenero wilt under pressure to complete the come-from-behind conquest in this prestigious tourney bankrolled by Stoked, Mikasa, Mizuno, Senoh, Rebisco and SM By the Bay with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
A mainstay in various beach volleyball tourneys, Tiu said her familiarity with her foe — former La Salle teammate Cyd Demecillo — helped them bounce back from a disastrous first set.
They once played together for De La Salle University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) and campaigned as teammates in another beach volley tourney.
Demecillo, however, went on to win the UAAP crown two years ago with Kim Fajardo as teammate, handing the Lady Spikers their first ever beach volley title.
“I’m quite familiar with her so it really helped,” said Tiu, who also leaned on the steady game of her partner, Aby Nuval, to escape with the win. “We only trained thrice before this tourney and during those trainings, we had tune-up matches with F2 Logistics.”
After levelling the match in the second set, things looked shaky for Cocolife as F2 Logistics crawled back from a 10-12 down to claim the match point, 15-14.
But Tiu connected an ace to tie the match at 15 before scoring with a drop shot.
An attack error by Gallenero sealed the victory, pushing the Asset Managers a win away from the quarterfinals.
“Actually, we had the chance to dominate. It’s just we had a lot of errors in the first set,” Tiu said.
Cocolife will face another strong squad in Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron Sprint 4T today and needs a win to advance to the next round.
Also posting impressive an win was Perpetual Help squad of Marijo Medalla and Bianca Tripoli as it downed Generika-Ayala B of Kat Arado and Rosalie Pepito, 21-19, 21-16, in the first match in the women’s division.
In the men’s side, IEM dominated Wayuk, 21-13, 21-12; SM By the Bay clobbered IEM B, 21-15, 21-16; Cignal crushed Perpetual Help B, 21-10, 21-19; Generika-Ayala dominated Wayuk, 21-12, 21-12; SM By the Bay downed TVM, 21-12, 21-11; Perpetual Help B nipped IEM A, 21-19, 21-17; Perpetual Help A smothered IEM B, 21-17, 21-13; and Generika Ayala flattened IEM A, 21-7, 21-7.