Pangasinan team sweeps UE bet for Petron Ladies beach volley crown
Melanie Carrera (left) and Cindy Benitez receive their 2014 Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Tournament championship trophy from University of the East chancellor Zosimo Battad (right).

PANGASINENSE spikers Melanie Carrera and Cindy Benitez got their timing right as they clinched the fourth and final leg of the 2014 Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Tournament title at the sand-courts of the University of the East-Kaloocan campus.

They made their big moves towards the end and turned back University of the East standouts Krycel Cueva and Francisclyn Cais, 21-13, 21-19, in their best-of-three finals showdown to capture the crown.

Carrera made up for a miscue that led into a 19-all deadlock by slamming the ball back after receiving Cueva’s serve to break the tie before unleashing a drop shot in the next play to clinch the win for the Pangasinan team in the final set.

“Napagod kami, pero ginamit lang namin ang experience namin para manalo,” said the 26-year-old Carrera, who is from Dagupan.

It was Carrera's first crown in the tournament, after nearly winning the second leg of the 2012 season when she and Cassandra Lleda made it to the finals – against, interestingly, her new partner Benitez.

That year, Benitez took the second-leg crown when she and Jennifer Manzano formed Team Mangaldan to beat Carrera and Lleda, 21-23, 21-10, 21-10, in an all-Pangasinense finals.

Carrera and Benitez reached the finals after getting past fellow Pangasinen bets -- Viray twins Jeziela and Nieza, 21-9.

UE's Cais and Cueva arranged a showdown with Carrera and Benitez following their 21-12 stopping of Marikina spikers Shirley Martinez and Lourdes de la Cruz in the semifinals.

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