Beach volleyball suits Pinoys
Our basketball-accustomed eyes probably wonder why beach volleyball isn’t played three-on-three. That’s because it is the scaled-down version of hoops that we’ve played at various stages of our lives and seems more logical given the three-pass rule of volleyball.
Well, let’s allow volleyball to be its natural self and the two-on-two format augurs well for its beach version. A third player might diminish the challenge of the game to cover space as well as make set-ups for attacks too easy. Besides the two-pair format looks fit for the Filipinos’ natural agility and speed.
Of course, taller players in the international game will have clear advantages but let’s wait for our players to feel comfortable in beach volleyball and then we might be able to match up.
This didn’t seem to matter to players and fans that trooped to SM By The Bay beach volleyball layout at the Mall of Asia complex over the weekend.
Many of the male and female players audiences have followed in the indoor game were around to compete in the Belo PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge.
The men’s game was fast and furious with the Generika Ayala pair of Anthony Arbastro and Calvin Sarte winning the gold in two sets over Cignal HD’s EJ Ramos and Edmar Bonono. There was the usual display of power and leaping skills but the other facets of the game like digging and blocking also came to fore.
In the women’s division, the energetic Petron Sprint 4T tandem of Sisi Rondina and Bernadette Pons won in two sets against Generika Ayala’s Fiolla Ceballos and Patty Orendain.
Rondina is truly the Pambansang Baterya (National Battery) as she seems to have an infinite supply of youthful energy to boost teammates in either indoor or beach volleyball. Pons complements her zest since the fiery spiker has been a cornerstone of Far Eastern University’s game for so long.
The players blended naturally with the game’s sea, sun and sand context as well as the lighter ball and some minor rule differences like the limitation on the use of fingers for hard-to-reach drop balls. The point of the game is to keep it lively, and with even chances for pairs to reach the ball. Ball placement in empty spaces away from the net seemed to be more important than guile and power.
Beach volleyball should play a larger part not only in the continued rise of the sport’s popularity but also in the country’s tourism efforts. Let’s hope that our volleyball leagues can find the resources to stage a definitive international tournament that will attract players and more tourists to our exotic and unforgettable beaches.
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