Rondina, Pons off to strong start in final SEA Games tune up
MANILA, Philippines—The partnership of Cherry Rondina and Bernadeth Pons is looking sleek with two weeks to go before the start of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
Rondina and Pons, the country’s top medal hope in the sand courts, started their 2019 Rebisco Beach Volleyball International Open campaign with a 21-10, 22-20 sweep of University of Santo Tomas’ Mer Jauculan and Gen Eslapor Friday at Sands SM By the Bay.
The tournament, participated by New Zealand, Kong Kong, Palau and SEA Games favorite Thailand, serves as the final tune up for the 11-nation meet that starts November 30 here.
But despite the dominant first set, Pons and Rondina had some problems in the second when Jauculan and Eslapor put up a valiant fight, tying the set at 20-20.
Rondina answered with a kill for the match point before Eslapor handed them the win with a net touch violation.
Dij Rodriguez and Dzi Gervacio, the other Philippine duo that will compete in the SEA Games, made quick work of Sta. Lucia’s 21-7, 21-9 win.
The Philippine teams are testing their mettle in the double-gender tournament, organized by Larong Volleyball ng Pilipinas and Beach Volleyball Republic, ahead of the SEA Games.
Edmar Bonono and Jude Garcia, the Philippines’ top men’s team for the SEA Games, chalked up a 21-16, 21-15, win over Palau’s Edson Kaweo Ngiraiwet and Sakiusa Vaka Naivana.
The pairing of James Buytrago and Krung Arbasto were the first of the SEA Games team to get to 2-0 in the International Open when they brushed odd Cignal’s pemie Bagalay and Pol Salvador, 21-17, 21-11 in their final game of the day.
Buytrago and Arbasto started off with a quick sweep of Hong Kong 3’s Ku HinTing and Yiu Ming Kam 21-7, 21-13.
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