PH beach volley counting on hometown support to boost SEA Games bid
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippine women’s beach volleyball team is banking on homecourt advantage to provide the needed boost for its gold medal bid in the coming Southeast Asian Games.
As host, the Philippines is allowed to field in two squads each in the women’s and men’s competition.
The women’s team is composed of the pair of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons and the duo of Dzi Gervacio and Floremel Rodriguez. The men’s side features Edmar Bonono and Jude Garcia, and Anthony Arbasto and James Buytrago.
This year’s teams will be tasked to end the country’s long medal drought in the sport. The last time the Philippines made the beach volleyball podium was in 2005 in Manila courtesy of Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua.
“With all the support we received, our teams are hoping to get far in this SEA Games,” said team manager Cha Soriano in Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at Amelie Hotel in Manila.
“We want our players to be in Subic early. We want our players to familiarize themselves with the viscosity (thickness and consistency) of the sand in the actual venue. That should give us the homecourt advantage,” said Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc. (LVPI) training director Peter Cayco.
As part of the teams’ buildup, the LVPI is staging the Rebisco International beach volley competition on Nov. 15 to 17 at Mall of Asia´s Sands by the Bay where the Philippines will be going up against New Zealand, Hong Kong, Palau and SEA Games favorite Thailand.
“It will boil down to our commitment and mindset. But we worked very hard in training,” said Sisi Rondina, the energetic indoor volley star who has agreed to suit up for the beach volley team in this SEA Games.
“We just have to treat each game as the championship game,” she added.
The beach volleyball competitions begins on Nov. 29 to Dec. 6 in Subic.
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