SEA Games: PHI sets sights on beach volleyball bronze after loss to THA
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Dec 03, 2019 12:51 PM
(Photo by Aubrey Lavern Reyes)
SUBIC - The Philippines gold medal hopes in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games women’s beach volleyball are flickering after dropping both of its matches opposite powerhouse Thailand, Tuesday at Subic Tennis Court.
Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons put up a fight in the first set, but ultimately bowed to Varapatsorn Radarong and Khanittha Hongpak, 24-26 and 15-21.
Dij Rodriguez and Dzi Gervacio were blanked as well by Tanarattha Udomchavee and Rumpaipruet Numwong, 16-21 and 14-21.
With two country points and an overall 2-2 record heading into their last assignment, the host country has a tall task ahead if it is to catch up to Thailand and Indonesia, both undefeated.
Still, the Philippines is very much alive for a podium finish, but will need to sweep its matches opposite Singapore on Friday.
According to national team coach Paul Jan Doloiras, the Rondina-Pons and Rodriguez-Gervacio duos need to win against their respective opponents for the Filipinas to make sure there are no complications for the bronze medal.
"Alam naming lalaban at lalaban yang Singapore," four-time champion and MVP in UAAP beach volleyball Rondina said. "Pero siyempre, 'di tayo papatalo dyan. Medalya na pag-uusapan dyan."
Even better for the Filipinas, they will be heading into that match with many learnings from waging war with powerhouse Thailand. "Kumbaga, experiencee yung nangyari. We're blessed na nakita namin paano tayo makasabay sa iba," Rondina said.
Indeed, in the first frame of the first game, the Philippines was actually at set point thanks to back-to-back hits by Rondina and Pons.
Radarong forced deuce for Thailand, however, and the Filipinas' hopes were dashed for good as Rondina and Pons had back-to-back attack errors.
Still, this is nothing but a welcome development for the country which is hoping to repeat its feat in the 2005 SEA Games, also hosted by the Philippines, when Heidi Ilustre and Diane Pascua bagged bronze.
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