THE Philippines takes centerstage as first-time FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour hosts unveil the men’s division qualifiers at the Sands SM By The Bay starting at 8 a.m today (May 3).
Sisi Rondina, the three-time UAAP champion who played in last year’s 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore, vows to make the country proud when the 16-team women’s draw blasts off tomorrow (May 4).
“It’s an overwhelming feeling. First, because we’re hosting this world event. Second, because we are playing for the country. Sobrang nakaka-proud,” said Rondina, who will be paired with Dzi Gervacio in the one-star tournament organized by the Beach Volleyball Republic.
As the top Philippine duo wrap up their preparations today, Rondina and Gervacio are more than ready to face a tough international competition in the four-day event which has a $10,000 cash prize and ranking points for other FIVB beach volley tourneys.
“We’re training very hard. Since the league is the FIVB World Tour, we expect taller and really very strong competition. What we’re focusing on is how we can strengthen our bonds and connect with each other on court. So far, in training, we have developed good communication with one another and have started to jell,” Rondina added.
The three other Filipina pairs competing are Charo Soriano and Bea Tan, two-time Beach Volleyball Republic national champions Karen Quilario and Lot Catubag, and wildcard entries DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia.
BVR national champions Jade Becaldo and Calvin Sarte, Kevin Juban and Raphy Abanto, James Pecaña and KR Guzman, and Ranran Abdilla and Edwin Tolentino comprise the Filipino casts in the men’s division
Four slots in the main draw are at stake in the men’s division qualifiers today. The main draw for women and men is set tomorrow, with the schedule to be released tonight.
The round-of-12 and quarterfinals are scheduled on Saturday, with the semifinals and finals on Sunday.
The event is promoted by E-Plus Global Sdn Bhd and organized by Beach Volleyball Republic Inc.