A pair of Petron squads crushed their respective foes in the quarterfinals of the 2017 Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup Saturday at the SM By the Bay in Mall of Asia.
Pre-tournament favorites Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron Sprint 4T dominated Mylene Paat and Janine Marciano of Cignal B, 21-11, 21-9; while Frances Molina and Bang Pineda of Petron XCS escaped past Abie Nuval and Wensh Tiu of Cocolife, 20-22, 21-14, 15-13, to book a semifinal duel in this prestigious tourney backed by Stoked, Mikasa, Mizuno, Senoh, Rebisco and SM By the Bay with TV5 as official broadcaster.
Reigning champion Jovelyn Gonzaga andnew partner Maica Morada of Cignal A are still competing against Danika Gendrauli and Jacquelyn Estoquia of Sta. Lucia while Fiola Ceballos and Patty Orendain of Generika A are still battling Bianca Tripoli and Marijo Medalla of University of Perpetual Help in the other quarterfinal matches as of press time.
The survivors in the quarterfinals will coast to the semis round and will face the winner between Petron Sprint 4T and Petron XCS in the sudden-death finals today (Sunday).
Playing under the raging summer sun for the first time this tournament, Pineda and Molina ran out of steam in the first set before springing back to life in the second and third.
Pineda, who won the title en route to being named as Most Valuable Player in the UAAP beach volley tourney for Adamson University three years ago, was impressive on the defensive end in the second set while Molina buckled down to work in the third using her speed and mobility on the sand.
“We tried our best to adjust to the weather condition in the first set,” said Molina, adding that it is their first time in this four-day tourney to play in the afternoon.
“Fortunately, we managed to get our rhythm in the second set before going for the win in the third set. Cocolife was tough. But we used our experience (on sand) to our advantage.”
Pineda added that the pair of Rondina and Pons would be a tough nut to crack in the semis.
“They may be young, but they are overflowing with experience in playing beach volleyball,” she said. “We have to be ready. It’s going to be a tough battle.”
Meanwhile, Cignal HD pair of Edmar Bonono and Erickson Ramos scored a massive upset while Generika-Ayala duo of Anthony Arbastro and Calvin Sarte kept its perfect slate intact to book a finals duel in the men’s division.
The HD Spikers dominated Mike Abria and Edwin Tolentino of SM By the Bay, 21-9, 19-21, 15-8, while the Lifesavers clobbered Rey and Relan Taneo of University of Perpetual Help A, 21-10, 21-17, in the crossover semifinals.
“We know it wouldn’t be easy,” said the 25-year old Bonono, a Social Work student at Philippine Christian University. “But now that it’s over, we will set our focus on the finals. The job is not yet done.”