MANILA, Philippines – Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons of Petron Sprint 4T completed a dominant campaign by demolishing Fiola Ceballos and Patty Orendain of Generika-Ayala A in the finals of the 2017 Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Sunday night.
The UAAP stars overpowered the Generika pair, 21-12, 21-8, to emerge as champions at the SM By the Bay in Mall of Asia.
Settling for the bronze medal was the Petron XCS tandem of Bang Pineda and Frances Molina, who edged the Sta. Lucia pair of Danika Gendrauli and Jackie Estoquiao, 10-21, 21-14, 15-9. Meanwhile, reigning champion Jovelyn Gonzaga and Maica Morada of Cignal HD A claimed the fifth place following a 21-15, 26-28, 15-11 thrashing of Mylene Paat and Janine Marciano of Cignal B.
Marijo Medalla and Bianca Tripoli of Perpetual took home the seventh place after notching a 21-13, 21-19 triumph over Wensh Tiu and Abie Naval of Cocolife.
Rondina memorably lost to Gonzaga in a dramatic final last year, but emerged triumphant this time around. Her victory was made doubly sweeter as she also won the UAAP Season 79 beach volleyball tournament.
"All of the country's best beach volleyball players are here, so this win is something I should be proud of. It was a difficult battle, but in the end, everything is worth it," said Rondina.
Also emerging with a crown on their heads were Anthony Arbastro and Calvin Sarte of Generika-Ayala, who clobbered EJ Ramos and Edmar Bonono of Cignal HD, 21-17, 21-18, in the finals of the men's division.
Arbastro, a University of Santo Tomas (UST) standout and reigning UAAP beach volley champion, played with Sarte for the first time, but it hardly mattered as they looked very comfortable with each other to complete a seven-game sweep of this tournament.
Mike Abria and Edwin Tolentino of SM By the Bay, for its part, settled for the third place following a 21-19, 23-21 win over Rey and Relan Taneo of University of Perpetual Help in the classification round.
Arbastro, the tournament's Most Valuable Player, said patience paid off as they didn’t panic despite trailing by three in the crucial stretch of the first set, 14-17.
"They (Cignal) were ahead in the first set but we didn't panic. We just played good defense and enjoyed the game to make it a fun game," said Arbastro, whose original partner, Kris Roy Guzman, dropped out of the tourney at the last-minute to attend to his academic commitment at UST.
Sarte, a Marketing Management major at Holy Cross University, said their lack of training hardly affected their performance.
"We trained only for three days prior this tournament," he said. "Since I came from Davao, we didn’t have much time to work together. Fortunately, we got this win."
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