Garcia Jude Garcia and Krung Arbasto made it to the quarterfinals of the 2021 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships in Phuket, Thailand. AVC photo

Pinoy spikers bow to Iranian rivals

November 27, 2021 Theodore P. Jurado 160 views

THE Philippines’ Jude Garcia and Krung Arbasto saw their men’s semis bid come to an end after a 19-21, 21-13, 10-15 loss to Iran 2’s Bahman Salemi and Abolhassan Khakizadeh in the 2021 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Bang Tao Beach in Phuket, Thailand yesterday.

The 19th seeded Filipinos came into the quarterfinals prepared, giving the No. 11 Iranians a good fight in the opening set before putting up an impressive showing in the second to extend the match.

Salemi, a 2017 Asian champion, and Khakizadeh then showed poise in the deciding set to give Iran a spot in the semifinals.

Garcia and Arbasto, who won the two-leg BVR on Tour Santa Ana last month, gave the Philippines a quarterfinals berth following a stunning 22-20, 18-21, 15-12 over Qatar 2’s Ahmed Mahmoud and Saifeddin Elmajid, who are seeded No. 8 in the five-day tournament.

It was the country’s best finish since Rhovyl Verayo and Parley Tupaz also made it to the top eight in the 2007 edition in Songkhla, Thailand. Verayo is now handling the men’s team.

The Philippines has made a return to the continental competition after a 11-year absence, as the country’s beach volleyball program is continuing from what it started in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, where the women’s and men’s teams claimed bronze medals.

The women’s pairs of Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor, and Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons have reached the Round of 16.

On Thursday, the 16th-seeded Rodriguez and Eslapor had their two-match winning streak halted following a 18-21, 14-21 loss to Australia 2’s Jasmine Fleming and Stefanie Fejes.

No. 12 Rondina and Pons, on the other hand, bowed to Japan 2’s Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi, 17-21, 15-21.

The other men’s squad is composed of AJ Pareja and James Pecaña, who failed to get past the pool play.