MANILA, Philippines—Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons opened their campaign with a 21-10, 22-20 win over Mer Jauculan and Gen Eslapor of University of Santo Tomas in the 2019 Rebisco Beach Volleyball International Open at the Sands SM By The Bay on Friday.
After a dominant opening set showing, Rondina and Pons, the Philippines' best medal hopes in beach volleyball in the Southeast Asian Games, encountered a rough patch as Jauculan and Eslapor put up a gallant stand.
A Jauculan service ace tied the second set at 20-20 before Rondina put her team at match point with a powerful kill. Eslapor then committed a net touch violation that gave the straight-sets win to Rondina and Pons.
The other Philippine team for the SEA Games, Dij Rodriguez and Dzi Gervacio, made short work of DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia of Sta. Lucia, 21-7, 21-9.
The Philippine teams are expected to be tested once again as they take on a tough international field in the three-day tournament.
In the men's division, Edmar Bonono and Jude Garcia, the Philippines' top team to the SEA Games, scored a 21-16, 21-15 win over Palau's Edson Kaweo Ngiraiwet and Sakiusa Vaka Naivana.
The country's other duo to the biennial meet, James Buytrago and Krung Arbasto, improved to 2-0 in pool play following a 21-17, 21-11 victory over Cignal's Pemie Bagalay and Pol Salvador. Buytrago and Arbasto opened its campaign with a over Hong Kong 3's Ku Hin Ting and Yiu Ming Kam, 21-7, 21-13.
A total of 20 teams, eight in women and 12 in men, are participating in the competition.
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