Upsets validate depth of PSL beach volleyball tourney
The string of upsets in the first day of the PLDT Home Ultera-Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup 2015 powered by Smart Live More proved the high level of competition in the meet.
PSL president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said the fact that unheralded pairs won over fancied tandems like Cha Cruz and Micmic Laborte of Cignal A, and Alexa Micek and Fille Cayetano speaks of the depth of talent in the tourney which is held every Saturday at Sands By the Bay in SM Mall of Asia.
“It goes to show how balanced and competitive this tournament is,” said Suzara who is also an official of the Asian Volleyball Confederation and International Volleyball Federation. “This is a kill-or-be killed tournament with only the toughest team set to survive. This is not designed to be a walk-in-the park for the heavyweight teams.”
Cha Cruz and Laborte, hands down the most popular tandem among the crowd, fell to the no-nonsense pair of Danica Gendrauli and Norie Diaz of Gilligan’s in the opener last Saturday. Bea Tan and Pau Soriano of Foton Hurricane then dealt Micek and Cayetano a shocking defeat.
And later in the day, head-turners Gretchen Ho and Charo Soriano of Petron XCS bowed to April Ross Hingpit and Wensh Tiu of Cignal B in yet another upset. The featured matches were aired by TV5.
Yet the biggest upset was that of Laborte and Cruz’ as Laborte was a bronze winner in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games while Cruz is certified hitter in the PSL.
Instead, they ran smack against a battle-ready Gendrauli, who powered Southwestern University to the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. title in 2011.
“Errors, erros and more errors; that’s the story of the game,” said Micek. “But this is still far from over. We can still redeem ourselves. We will train hard and come back stronger next game.”
Cignal HD Spikers B of Hingpit and Tiu are already in the quarterfinals after demolishing Aurora Tripoli and Rochet Dela Paz of Accel Quantum Plus B Perpetual Molino in the later game. Cignal A can still make it if it wins on Saturday.
Micek and Cayetano need to beat Gilligan’s, while Soriano and Ho must overcome Accel Quantum Plus B Perpetual Molino to remain in the inaugural PSL beach volleyball tournament.