Sisi Rondina, Bernadeth Pons bow out in AVC Roi-Et Open
MANILA, Philippines — Philippine women’s beach volleyball team stars Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons ended their Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Beach Tour Roi-Et Open in the round of 16 after falling to Alisha Stevens and Georgia Johnson of Australia 2, 16-21, 18-21, on Sunday in Thailand.
Rondina and Pons finished the 15th seed out of the 22 squads after wrapping the group stage with a 1-1 record in Pool B before bowing out of contention at the hands of Stevens and Georgia.
Earlier, the Filipino pair put up a gallant stand in their last Pool B game against the tournament second seed Japan as Pons and Rondina pushed Tokyo Olympian Ishii Miki and Mizoe Sayaka to their limits before dropping a 21-17, 17-21, 10-15 result. The Japanese are seeded No. 2 in the 22-team field.
In Saturday’s opener, Rondina and Pons took down Singapore 2’s Alicia Tan and Sharon Beh, 21-9, 21-7.
Despite not making it to the quarterfinals, Rondina still had a great experience playing against her Japanese idols in her first tournament back with Pons since their second straight bronze medal finish in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam last May.
“What an experience!!! Olympians of Japan. The best feeling as an athlete is when you play against your idols! Arigato (Ishii Miki and Mizoe Sayaka),” wrote the University of Santo Tomas standout in the caption of her photo with the two Japanese.
What an experience!!! Olympians of Japan 🥺❤️🤝
Teh best feeling as an athlete is when u play againsts your idols!! Arigato @miki_ishii1107 @sayakamizoe 🙏🏻🏻 pic.twitter.com/26nJ7sDfxe
— Cherry Ann Rondina (@Rondina011) September 11, 2022
The other Philippine pair of Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor had a winless campaign in Pool A, failing to reach the next round.
Rodriguez, who is also a two-time SEA Games bronze medalist, and her new partner, Eslapor lost to Thailand 1’s Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee and Tarawadee Naraphonlaphat, 14-21, 15-21, and bowed to Vietnam’s Nguyen Le Thi Tuong By and Vu Ngoc Lan Nguyen, 17-21, 11-21.
After the Roi-Et Open, the team of Rondina and Pons and the pair of Rodriguez and Eslapor will stay in the city for the AVC Senior Women’s Beach Volleyball Championship from September 14 to 17, which features 32 teams including five squads from Thailand, three from Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand, and Singapore, two from Chinese Taipei, and one from Vanuatu and Vietnam.