Phoenix The New South Wales Phoenix pair of Jett Rocker-Graham and Killian Donovan, who finished fourth in last month’s Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships in Roi-Et, Thailand also gained qualification in the top four in the BVR on Tour Sipalay leg. Volleyball NSW photo

UST duo of Pagara, Progella upends NU counterparts

June 23, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 151 views

SIPALAY CITY – Reigning UAAP champion University of Santo Tomas, bannered by Sofiah Pagara and Khy Progella, upended National University’s Honey Grace Cordero and Kat Epa, 16-21, 21-15, 15-9, in the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour Sipalay City leg yesterday at the Poblacion Beach.

Pagara and Progella displayed tremendous composure in the next two sets after yielding the opener to the Lady Bulldogs pair of Cordero, who won here last year with Roma Joy Doromal, and Epa.

Playing with a sense of urgency to avoid getting into the semifinal the hard way, Pagara and Progella played cool and calculated on offense and defense gave the Tiger Sands their second straight win in an epic battle between the UAAP most successful programs.

UST opened its campaign with a 21-16, 21-7 sweep over Negros’ Bea Tan and Bianca Lizares.

National team mainstay Ranran Abdilla, who emerged triumphant in this laid-back city with Rancel Varga last year, and AJ Pareja lost in the first set before the Alas A pair won the next two to beat Cebu’s Samlet Booc and Micael Marabe, 26-28, 21-17, 15-0.

Abdilla and Pareja later logged their second straight win at the expense of Andre Espejo and Cris Hernandez, 21-19, 21-19, ending La Salle’s two-match winning streak to reach the semifinal.

Pontevedra also advanced in the women’s semis as Erjane Magdato and Perper Cosas defeated Far Eastern University’s Melody Pons and Floriza Anne Papa, 21-15, 21-13, and Strong Group Athletics’ Gen Eslapor and Euri Eslapor, 21-10, 21-11.

The New South Wales Phoenix pair of Jett Rocker-Graham and Killian Donovan, who finished fourth in last month’s Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships in Roi-Et, Thailand also gained qualification in the top four in the men’s division.

The Aussies turned back the Alas B tandem of Varga and Lerrie Francisco, 21-18, 21-16, and UST’s Aldwin Gupiteo and Dominique Gabito, 21-18, 21-18.

Action resumes this morning to determine the remaining semifinalists in the women’s and men’s divisions.

In a couple of do-or-die women’s matches, FEU (1-1) will take on SGA (1-1), while NU (2-1) plays UNO-R (2-1).

In the men’s side, La Salle and Cebu, sporting similar 2-1 records, try to avoid elimination, while Alas B and UST, holding identical 1-1 slates, duke it out for a place in the semifinal.

The semifinal and the medal matches will be played in the afternoon.

The BVR on Tour Sipalay leg was made possible in partnership with the City Government of Sipalay under Mayor Maria Gina M. Lizares which aims to promote sports among the youth and to boost the local tourism industry.

The BVR remains true in promoting beach volleyball lifestyle in the Philippines by providing a platform for athletes to train, develop their skills, build a community and compete in high-level tournaments all over the country.

Aside from the matches, there will be the BVR Sandroots program at 3 p.m. today.

The games will be available live on beachvolleyballrepublic.ph website.

For more updates, follow BVR’s social media accounts on Facebook, TikTok, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).

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