Pineda-Pontillas gains Liga semis | Inquirer Sports

Pineda-Pontillas gains Liga semis

/ 01:29 AM May 23, 2016

BANG Pineda and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas Petron XCS banked on pin-point serving to beat F2 Logistics’ Aby Maraño and Danika Gendrauli and gain the semifinals of the Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge yesterday.

Pineda and Pontillas next face the formidable RC Cola-Army tandem of Jovelyn Gonzaga and Nene Bautista, who drubbed Maica Morada and Frances Molina of Petron Sprint 4T, 21-14, 21-12, later in the afternoon.

Later in the evening, Cherry Rondina and Patty Orendain of Foton blasted Genie Sabas and Jeannie Delos Reyes of RC Cola-Army B, 21-8, 21-14, to also barge into the semifinals.

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Rondina and Orendain will next face FEU-Petron’s Bernadeth Pons and Kylie Atienza who downed Standard Insurance of Pau Soriano and Norie Diaz, 13-21, 22-20, 15-10.

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Playing for the first time as partners, Pineda and Pontillas earned crucial points on serve targeting Maraño to score a 21-17, 21-16, triumph at SM Mall of Asia’s Sands by the Bay.

“Not to say that Aby is the weaker link but Danika moves quicker, so we naturally had to go to Aby,” said Pineda of the former La Salle star who is playing on sand for the first time.

Pontillas, who paired up with Gonzaga in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games, played solidly with the spunky Pineda, drilling well-timed attacks and shining on receptions.

“We tried to challenge their defense, especially Aby, because we knew that she’s not used to the sand,” said Pontillas.

Trailing 7-8 in the second set, Pineda and Pontillas moved ahead, 12-8, on three straight Pineda aces off Maraño.

The clash between Petron XCS and RC Cola-Army on Sunday is highly anticipated as it features ex-teammates Pontillas and Gonzaga.

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In men’s play, Philippine Navy B defeated UE Manila, 21-13, 21-18, while FEU B routed SM By the Bay, 21-9, 21-18.

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Also winning their matches were TVM, which nipped Cignal Team Awesome, 22-24, 21-14, 15-8; FEU A, which beat IEM, 21-17, 21-10; and Philippine Navy A, which slammed SM By the Bay, 21-9, 21-9.

TAGS: Danika Gendrauli, IEM, score, winning

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