MANILA, Philippines - Cebu’s Southwestern U pair of Therese Rae Ramas and Floremel Rodriguez and Santo Tomas’ Kris Ray Guzman and Mark Gil Alfafara pulled off contrasting victories to cop the beach volleyball gold medals in the 2014 Philippine National Games at the makeshift sandcourt at the Rizal Memorial yesterday.
Ramas and Rodriguez outclassed UST’s Cherry Ann Rondina and Rica Jane Rivera, 21-10, 21-12, to top the women’s event while Guzman and Alfafara rallied from a first set defeat to turn back a stubborn duo of Aga Tahiluddin and Halim Khan, 21-23, 26-24, 25-8, to reign supreme in the men’s side.
It was the second gold won by the Ramas-Rodriguez tandem this year after emerging victorious in the PRISAA Games in Tagum City last February.
“Gusto talaga namin manalo dito dahil natalo team namin sa indoor (We really want to win here because we lost in indoor volleyball),” said the 17-year-old Ramas, an incoming second year civil engineering student.
Despite the loss, the Tahiluddin-Khan duo took home a silver that shone like gold for the Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao, which considers beach volley its top pastime.
“Beach volleyball is the No. 1 sport back home because everyone plays it especially in the afternoon,” Al Trekee Dayan, ARMM’s regional sports director, told The STAR in Filipino.
“After our 3 p.m. prayer, everyone goes to the beach to play it and will only stop if the water goes above the knee level.
“So making the finals and almost winning the gold in the PNG means a lot not just to the whole of Tawi Tawi but also the ARMM,” he added.
In wrestling, mixed martial arts champion Mark Streigl, representing Baguio, topped the 70-kilogram division, besting national team mainstay Jefferson Manatad of Quezon City in a gripping finale.
Streigl was the most celebrated winner in the sport, being a Pacific X-Treme Combat champion who could be fighting in the Ultimate Fighting Championship anytime soon.
In wushu, national team members Justin Chan (third set changquan), Alieson Ken Omengan (third set Nanquan), Kariza Kris Chan (freestyle taijiquan),Thornton Quieney Lou Sayan (freestyle nangun) all won in the taolo events.
Sayan won in the freestyle nanquan/third set nanquan to make it a double-gold haul and join in that group John Kiethly Chan, who captured the freestyle changquan and freestyle jianshu.
Over at the Marikina Sports Complex, Davao swept all its matches against Calabarzon, Zamboanga and National Capital Region to clinch the goal ball gold.
In the men’s division soft tennis, Joseph Arcilla downed Patric Flojo, 4-0, to set up a semifinals showdown with Giovanni Mamawal, who slammed Jose Pabalete, 4-0, while Mikoff Manduriao and Jhomar Arcilla trounced Jeremiah Macias II, 4-1, and Davis Alano, 4-2, respectively.
Noelle Conchita smashed Sally Mae Siso, 4-0, Virginia Perez edged Princess Catindig, 4-3, Eileen Peralta blanked Hannah Grace Espinosa, 4-0 and Edrilyn Peralta defeated Pia Tamayo to all advance to the women’s semis.