The country’s top beach volleyball players will battle for supremacy when the Philippine Superliga (PSL) Challenge Cup beach volleyball tournament begins today at the Sands at SM by the Bay in Pasay City.
The games begin at 7:30 a.m. with veteran Jovelyn Gonzaga and Nene Bautista of RC Cola-Army A plunging into action.
“It’s really a tough battle [because]everybody is capable of winning,” said Gonzaga who represented the country in various international beach volleyball tournaments and is a member of the team that won three national titles in the Nestea Beach Volley Championship.
“That’s why we have to work double time because all our opponents are very good. We can’t afford to be complacent against them,” she added.
Gonzaga said defending champion F2 Logistics and Foton are the teams to beat in the four-week tournament.
F2 Logistics’ Danika Gendrauli will lead their title defense with new partner Aby Maraño. Gendrauli’s former partner Norie Jane Diaz will have Pau Soriano as partner for Standard Insurance-Philippine Navy A.
“There’s pressure on me to deliver especially knowing that Danika also wants to defend her title. That’s why I’m really preparing for this. This is a big challenge and I’m ready for it,” Maraño said.
Cherry Rondina and Patty Orendain will be carrying the Foton banner.
The teams in Pool A are Diaz and Soriano, Genie Sabas and Jeannie delos Reyes of RC Cola-Army B and Angelica Dacaymat and Jasmine Alcayde of University of the East (UE) while playing in Pool B are Maica Morada and Ces Molina of Petron, Florence Madulid and Pau Genido of Standard Insurance-Philippine Navy B, and Gendrauli and Maraño.
Other competing tandems are Bang Pineda and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas of Petron XCS, Shaira Hermano and Danielle Ramilo of Mapua, and Aileen Abuel and Princess Listana of Accel, and Ordenain and Rondina in Pool C; Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza of Far Eastern University (FEU), April Ross Hingpit and Jonafer San Pedro of Meralco, Vhimda Condada and Mary Grace Berte of Cignal Team Awesome in Pool D.
Competing in the men’s side are Madsairi Nur-amin and Roldan Medino for Philippine Navy-A, Pajiji Alsali and Milover Parcon for Philippine Navy-B, Rey and Reylan Taneo for Cignal Team Awesome, Philip Bagalay and Paul John Cuzon for Wayuk, Arjay Salcedo and Bobby Gartidula for IEM, Geric Rodmar Ortega and Ruvince Abrot for UE-Manila, Joshua Barrica and Jude Garcia for FEU-A, Rikko Mamerto and Kevin Hadlocon for FEU-B, and twins Daniel and Tim Young for SM By the Bay.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID