Big victory by Sta. Lucia highlights bigger triumph by volleyball | Inquirer Sports
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Big victory by Sta. Lucia highlights bigger triumph by volleyball

/ 05:15 AM February 27, 2021

Sta. Lucia sparkled in the 2021 Gatorade-Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Friday at Subic Bay sand court.

The sport of volleyball shone even brighter.

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The opening of the tournament, a short event that will end on Sunday, made volleyball the third major sport to free itself of the shackles of the COVID-19 pandemic after basketball (5×5 and 3×3) and football.

“At this point, more than winning the game, we are very happy to play again in a tournament,” said Bang Pineda, whose Sta. Lucia partnership with Jonah Sabete produced a 21-20, 21-9 victory over Ariane Alarcon and Christina Canares of Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz in the first match. “Missing the game for so long made me more inspired and I’m sure all players are motivated to win in this very competitive tournament.”

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“Finally, after almost a year, we were able to play again. We’re really excited and inspired as we continue to compete in the PSL,” Sabete said.

Friday’s kickoff also made the PSL the third major sports organization to hold a tournament after the Philippine Basketball Association and the Philippines Football League.

“We’re happy because it is a history of sorts since we are the first nonprofessional organization to hold a tournament,” PSL chair Philip Juico told the Inquirer on Friday.

And with beach volleyball starting smoothly, Juico is now setting his sights on relaunching PSL’s indoor tournament.

“We’re thinking of mid- or late April,” Juico said, adding that the PSL also wants to put up the indoor bubble in Subic. “We already have approvals for that and it’s just a matter of teams getting back to practice and competing.”

The tandem of DM Demontano and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia B also made its presence felt as it clobbered Jonah San Pedro and Javen Sabas of Toby’s Sports, 21-18, 21-13.

—BONG LOZADA

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TAGS: 2021 Gatorade-Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup, sta. lucia
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