Filipinos begin ‘do-or-die’ AVC Continental Cup campaign
MANILA, Philippines—Cherry Rondina and her teammates in the Philippine national volleyball team have a do-or-die mindset coming into the Asian Volleyball Confederation Continental Cup.
The team knows that one slip up in Continental Cup could derail their Olympic aspirations.
Sisi Rondina, who won bronze in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, knows and how important the Continental Cup is not just for her but for the whole program.
“We don’t always play international teams and if we do it’s against Southeast Asian countries, but in this set-up it’s a do-or-die game because one win and we’ll go to the finals,” said Rondina in Filipino.
“Now if we win in the semifinals then the finals we’ll qualify for the Olympics that’s why we’re super blessed to be in this position. We don’t know maybe the winds will turn into our favor. I’m praying for a successful outcome in this journey. Everyone trains that’s why whoever works the hardest will win.”
Rondina is paired up with SEA Games partner Bernadeth Pons while Babylove Barbon and Dij Rodriguez make up the other Philippine women’s pair with Rose Jauculan and Gen Eslapor as the reserves.
The Philippines will compete with Japan and New Zealand and the two top teams will advance to the semifinals.
Jaron Requinton and James Buytrago make up one of the pairings while Jude Garcia and Anthony Arbasto make up the other pair with Ranran Abdilla and Philip Bagalay as the reserves.
Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, and Lebanon will duke it out and only one will advance to Tokyo.
PNVF Board Member Charo Soriano, who oversees the beach volleyball program, said that qualifying for the Olympics first takes belief and everything will go from there.
“Anything is possible to those who believe. And our team, we believe. We truly believe,” said Soriano.
“The team feels so blessed being here. We know how rare this opportunity is, especially nowadays, so everyone is really focused on the tournament. Training has been good here. We get 1.5hrs a day so we maximize that time to the best of our ability. The rest of the time, we stay inside our rooms in adherence with the tournament regulations,” added Soriano.
The AVC Continental Cup will begin on Friday in Nakhon Pathom in Thailand.
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