MANILA, Philippines – Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons, the country's biggest medal hopes in beach volleyball, are hoping to make an impact in the 2019 Rebisco Beach Volleyball International Open, which starts Friday at the Sands SM By The Bay.
A total of 20 teams will compete in double-gender tournament presented by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc., in cooperation with Beach Volleyball Republic.
Games start at 7:30 a.m. and admission is free.
"Siyempre, it's for the experience and preparation for the Southeast Asian Games. We are very excited," said Rondina, a four-time UAAP champion for University of Santo Tomas.
Pons, who paired with Rondina in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 1-Star last May in Boracay, knows that the three-day spikefest will help them to improve their skills ahead of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
"Nakakatuwa na nalaman namin na may liga na may mga international teams na pupunta kasi kailangan namin ng exposure. Sobrang beneficial," said Pons.
The pair started training last September, where Rondina and Pons focused on their endurance and chemistry in the sand court.
"Everyone knows kung paano kaming maglaro as SiPons tandem so we will do our best," said Rondina.
The other Philippine women's pair in the SEA Games slated on Nov. 29 at the Subic Tennis Courts is Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez.
Among the top international women's teams to watch out in the tournament are Thailand's Parawun Chanthawchai and Mukdao Suchamong, and Paweena Wong-aksorn and Duanpen Arsa, and New Zealand's Renei Ursem and Olivia MacDonald.
Other Filipinas competing are rising stars Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor of reigning UAAP champion University of Santo Tomas, and sand court veterans DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia.
Top Filipino standouts Edmar Bonono and Jude Garcia, and Krung Arbasto and James Buytrago will banner the country's campaign in the men's side along with Pol Salvador and Pemie Bagalay.
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