Kaya nating sumabay, kaya nating manalo -- Rondina

Mark Escarlote on May 05, 2018 06:28 PM
Kaya nating sumabay, kaya nating manalo -- Rondina
Siguro mabu-boost namin ang other beach volleyball players na kaya naming sumabay kahit mga beterano na ang mga kalaban namin. And kaya natin manalo -- Sisi Rondina

Local bets Sisi Rondina and Dzi Gervacio came up short against an experienced Japanese duo in the quarterfinals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open ending the Filipinos’ campaign in the prestigious tournament.

But the heart and pride displayed by the duo in their matches inside the sand courts of the Sands SM By The Bay is already a morale victory that could help elevate and promote beach volleyball in the country. 

The tandem proved that Filipinos could excel in the sport given enough exposure and support from the Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. and the volleyball fans.

Both known for their exploits in the local beach volleyball scene, Rondina and Gervacio teamed up for the first time and with just two weeks of preparation, the tandem made sweet music together.

“Siguro mabu-boost namin ang other beach volleyball players na kaya naming sumabay kahit mga beterano na ang mga kalaban namin. And kaya natin manalo,” said Rondina, a three-time UAAP beach volleyball champion from UST.

“Walang imposible kapag ginusto mo ang ginagawa mo,” added Rondina, a member of the national squad that saw action in the 29th Southeast Asian Beach Volleyball Championships in Singapore with Bernadeth Pons last year.

“Sana ito na talaga ang reason why the Philippines should have a good, long term and continuous program for beach volleyball,” expressed Gervacio, an advocate of the sport and founder of the Beach Volleyball Republic. “Kita naman natin na with just two weeks of practice, never ko ‘tong naging partner si Sisi and never ko itong naging teammate kahit saan but we’ve managed to play until the quarterfinals.”

Sana ito na ang heads up to everyone na, ‘Tara let’s start a beach volleyball program.’ We’ve won against USA and Canada and I think that’s a good turnout for someone who’s very young and a young team in beach volleyball,” added Gervacio. 

The duo were the only pair out of the four PHI entries in the women’s division and four in the men’s play that advanced in the quarterfinals of this $10,000, one-star tournament that offers FIVB ranking points.

Pitted against the seeded Japanese team of Shinako Tanaka, a silver medalist in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, and Fujii Sakurako, Rondina and Gervacio gave a gallant stand before dropping a 13-21, 21-17, 11-15, decision Saturday in front of a packed home crowd.

The Japanese pulled away midway in the opening set after getting into trouble early against the Filipinas.

With their backs against the wall, Rondina and Gervacio adjusted their game in the second set covering the spots exploited by the Japanese in the opening frame.

“We just had to recognize kaagad kung ano yung ginagawa nila para matapatan namin. Pumapalo si Tanaka ng maninipis, lahat pakaliwa so yun yung kinober namin lahat. So adjust lang talaga and recognizing what they’re doing para ma-depensahan namin kung anong ginagawa nila,” said Gervacio.

But the seasoned Japan pair were quick to recognize the Filipinas ploy in the deciding frame to break a 7-7 tie. A couple of errors by the Filipinas gave Japan a 12-8 lead.

Rondina pushed the Philippines closer with a hit and an ace, 13-11. Japan halted the Filipinas’ rally before Tanaka sealed the win with an ace.  

“But nakita din nila kung anong ginawa namin to adjust to them, so ulit, sila yung nag-adjust to us,” added Gervacio, who played alongside Tanaka in the 2013 Philippine Superliga Grand Prix under the Petron Blaze Spikers’ banner.

The duo opened their campaign with a win over Americans Lindsey Fuller and Kaley Melville, 21-12, 21-16, outwitting their taller opponents with good ball placements and heady attacks in Pool D Friday.

Rondina and Gevacio dropped their last pool match 20-22, 23-21 against the Spanish pair of Paula Soria Guttierez and Maria Belen Carro but still advanced in the Round of 12.

The tandem secured a quarterfinals seat with a masterful 21-17, 21-17, sweep of Canadians Megan Nagy and Caleigh Cruickshank early Saturday.



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