SISI Rondina and Bernadeth Pons ruled the 2019 Rebisco Beach Volleyball International Open with a masterful 21-10, 21-16 win over Dij Rodriguez and Dzi Gervacio in an all-Philippines final before an appreciative crowd at the Sands SM By The Bay Sunday night.
Undefeated in six matches, Rondina and Pons got the needed confidence booster being the country’s best medal bets in the women’s division in the 30th Southeast Asian Games to be held in Subic later this month.
“Napakahirap na makipagbakbakan sa mga international teams, lalo na’t matatangkad, mas experienced at mas beteranong mga player,” said Rondina, a four-time UAAP champion for University of Santo Tomas.
“What we did is makakuha kami ng experience. Makaranas kami ng preparation for the SEA Games, okay na kami doon. Hindi namin ini-expect na aabot kami sa Finals. Thankful kami,” she added.
Rodriguez and Gervacio, the Philippines’ second team in the biennial meet, gave their fancied rivals fits in the second set but Rondina and Pons displayed tremendous composure to prevail in the championship match.
Efraim Dimaculangan and Rancel Varga, reunited for this tournament, scored a 21-12, 21-18 win over KR Guzman and Jaron Requinton to annex the men’s crown of the tournament presented by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas Inc., in cooperation with Beach Volleyball Republic.
“Thankful and blessed po. Unexpected ang panalo namin kasi matatangkad pa kalaban namin,” said Varga, one of the country’s rising stars in the sand court. “Siguro po, lucky charm itong year na ito.”