Beach volley bets put up gallant stand in Phuket Asian tilt

THE Philippines matched a milestone in men’s action while the women put up a gallant stand in the Asian Senior Beach Volleyball Championships at the Bang Tao Beach in Phuket, Thailand.

The 19th-seeded pair of Jude Garcia and Krung Arbasto reached the quarterfinals following a stunning 22-20, 18-21, 15-12 win over Qatar 2’s Ahmed Mahmoud and Saifeddin Elmajid, the eighth seeds in the five-day tournament.

The pair matched the country’s best finish in the annual competition since Rhovyl Verayo and Parley Tupaz made the final eight in 2007 in Songkhla also in Thailand. Verayo is now coaching the men’s team.

Garcia and Arbasto, however, took a 19-21, 21-13, 10-15 loss to Iran 2’s Bahman Salemi and Abolhassan Khakizadeh in a 49-minute contest to miss a semifinal berth. Salemi, a 2017 Asian champion, and Khakizadeh are seeded 11th in the contest.

“I’m very satisfied with the way our beach volleyball players performed in Phuket. We will get better,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation President Ramon “Tats” Suzara.

The Philippines—whose participation in the tournament is backed by Rebisco, Taguig City through Rep. Alan Peter Cayetano, Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee, is back in the tournament after an 11-year absence.

Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor and Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons, meanwhile, showed signs of getting to competitive form by reaching the round-of-16 in women’s play.

The 16th-seeded Rodriguez and Eslapor lost to Australia 2’s Jasmine Fleming and Stefanie Fejes,18-21, 14-21 while No. 12 Rondina and Pons 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. They didn’t get past the pool play.

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