Asian Games: Dij Rodriguez, Gen Eslapor barge into beach volley quarterfinal | Inquirer Sports

Asian Games: Dij Rodriguez, Gen Eslapor barge into beach volley quarterfinal

/ 06:42 PM September 24, 2023

Philippines' Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor in the 2021 AVC Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships.

FILE – The Philippines’ Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor in the 2021 AVC Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships. AVC PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor became the last Filipinos standing in the Asian Games beach volleyball after advancing to the quarterfinals on Sunday at Ningbo Banbianshan Beach Volleyball Centre in Hangzhou, China.

Rodriguez and Eslapor eliminated Macau’s On Leng Leong and Weng Sam Law, 21-15, 21-15, to prevail in their Round of 16 duel.

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The Philippine women’s beach volleyball pair battles Japan’s Sayaka Mizoe and Miki Ishii in the quarterfinal on Monday.

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Ishii and Mizoe knocked out Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Ukolova and Alina Rachenko, 21-8, 21-7, to stay unbeaten in five games. 

The Nationals are seeing action in the Asiad for the first time since Diane Pascua and Heidi Ilustre’s seventh-place finish in the 2006 edition in Doha.

First-timers Eslapor and  Rodriguez, the lone holdover of the two-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist team, will have a chance to surpass the previous finish if they upset Japan in the quarterfinal.

Rodriguez and Eslapor, who finished second in Pool A with a 3-1 record, are the remaining national beach volleyball squad in contention after the men’s team and the other women’s pair Khylem Harl Progella and Grydelle Joanice Matibag got eliminated by Thailand in the round of 16.

The young tandem of Progella and Matibag ended their first Asiad appearance with a 16-21, 23-25 loss to Thailand’s Woranatchayakorn Phirachayakrailert and Charanrutwad Patcharamainaruebhorn.

Progella and Matibag finished with a 2-2 record in Pool B as the former’s performance seemed to be affected by the back pain she felt last Friday when they withdrew during their last group phase game against Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee and Taravadee Naraphornrapat of Thailand.

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Meanwhile, James Buytrago and Jude Garcia put up a gallant stand after forcing Indonesia’s Ashfiya Mohammad and Bintang Akbar to a decider but it wasn’t enough as they got booted out with a 17-21, 21-16, 6-15 loss in the men’s round of 16.

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Buytrago and Garcia, who finished with a 1-1 record in Pool A, was the lone men’s team to advance to the knockout stage as Jaron Requinton and Ranran Abdilla didn’t make it with a winless Pool B campaign, losing to Qatar and Indonesia.

TAGS: Asian Games, Dij Rodriguez, Gen Eslapor

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