THE PHILIPPINES‘ top guns Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons beat Australia 3’s Alisha Stevens and Jana Milutinovic, 21-15, 24-22 to finish third in Pool D in the 2021 Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at Bang Tao Beach in Phuket, Thailand yesterday.
The victory marked the first time that the Filipinos beat the Aussies in the continental competition.
Unlike in last Wednesday’s tough 21-13, 20-22, 12-15 loss to Japan 3’s Asami Shiba and Takemi Nishibori, Rondina and Pons displayed steely resolve in the extended second set to close out the 37-minute contest.
Rondina and Pons, who have already assured of a spot in the Round of 16 with only four teams in Pool D, finished pool play with an even 1-1 record.
The Philippines’ other pair of Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor continued to impress after ending their Pool A stint with a two-match winning streak.
Rodriguez and Eslapor, who secured a Round of 16 spot on Wednesday, needed only 33 minutes to defeat Kazakhstan 1’s Alina Rachenko and Anastassiya Ukolova, 21-7, 21-19, to close out their Pool A campaign with a 2-2 slate.
Rondina and Pons will shoot for a quarterfinals berth against Japan 2’s Akiko Hasegawa and Yurika Sakaguchi, while Rodriguez and Eslapor vie for a top eight spot against Australia 2’s Jasmine Fleming and Stefanie Fejes.
In the men’s division, the Philippines’ Jude Garcia and Krung Arbasto eliminated Singapore’s Kingsley Tay and Melvin Goh Teng Kuan, 26-24, 21-16, to advance to the Round of 16.
Garcia and Arbasto ended their Pool C in second place with a 1-1 record.
Up next for Garcia and Arbasto is a duel with Qatar 2’s Binaziz Elmajid Saifeddine and Mahmoud Assam Ahmed for a spot in the quarterfinals.
The other Philippine pair of AJ Pareja and James Pecaña failed to progress as they lost to National Olympic Committee of Thailand 2’s Kangkon Narongdet and Kaewsai Dunwinit, 9-21, 19-21, in men’s Pool G.
Pareja and Pecaña also bowed to Iran 1’s Abolhamed Mirzaali and Alireza Aghajanighasab, in three sets on Tuesday to end up winless.