Pineda-Marciano, Morada-Hingpit enter Christmas Open semis
Mark Escarlote on Dec 19, 2015 06:36 PM
UNSTOPPABLE --- Bang Pineda performed well despite a long absence in beach volleyball.
Even a non-stop heavy downpour that drenched Metro Manila whole Saturday long didn’t dampen the hot streak of the tandem of Bang Pineda and Janine Marciano and the pair of Maica Morada and April Hingpit as both squads secured a spot in the semifinals of the two-day ‘Beach Volleyball Republic Christmas Open’ tournament.
Both teams didn’t mind the wet sand and the cold wind that coupled the heavy rain at the SM MOA Sands by the Bay for the share of the lead in the 5-team Group B and a slot in the crossover semifinals match Sunday.
Both squads will clash Sunday morning in the continuation of the last four elimination round games to determine who will top the bracket to face the no. 2 squad in Group A.
Group B’s second seed will take on Group A's top team in the Final Four of the tourney that offers a total cash prize of P100,000.
Pineda, who gave Adamson a UAAP beach volleyball crown in Season 76, and Marciano secured a Final Four appearance after taking down late replacements Michelle Morente and Mich Otoshi, 21-19, 21-13; Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and Denden Lazaro, 21-9, 22-20; and the pair of Rose Cailing and April Romero, 21-14, 21-15.
Morente and Otoshi replaced University of Sto. Tomas' Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera.
“Wala naman kami masyadong preparation. Enjoy volley lang. Medyo hassle lang kasi sobrang lakas ng ulan. Sobrang hirap lang kasi bumibigat ang bola, pumapasok sa mata ang ulan and medyo kailangan ng ball control,” said Pineda, who admitted that she and Marciano paired for the first time and it is her first beach volley action since participating in a tournament in Boracay last May.
“Ang mabigat na kalaban sa kabilang bracket siyempre sina Bea at Rupia kasi kita naman na kondisyon talaga sila,” Pineda continued, adding that they need to win their game against Morada and Hingpit to avoid an early clash with Group A’s top team.
Morada and Hingpit, meanwhile, swept through Cailing and Romero, 21-12, 21-11; Morente and Otoshi, 21-17, 21-18; before eliminating Cainglet-Cayetano and Lazaro, 21-10, 21-10.
The team of Bea Tan and Rupia Inck finished their Group A elims campaign with a 3-1 record.
Inck, who played for the Philippine Superliga Grand Prix runner up Petron Blaze Spikers, and Tan, an Ateneo de Manila stalwart who teamed up with Alyssa Valdez in a third place finish in the UAAP Season 78 beach volley tournament, started their day with a tightly contested win against the University of the Philippines pair of Vina Alinas and Arielle Estranero 21-19, 19-21, 15-6.
The duo breezed past national team players Charo Soriano and Filipino-American Alexa Micek, 21-18, 21-18 and San Sebastian’s Marielle Sinamban and Julie Ann Tiangco, 21-9, 21-7 before bowing to the pair of Judy Ann Caballejo and Camille Abanto, 21-14, 10-21, 9-15, in a thrilling decider.
Caballejo and Abanto are tied with the pair of Micek and Soriano in second to third place with 2-1 card as semis slots in Group A are still up for grabs for three teams.
The semis and finals will air live over ABS-CBN Sports from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
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