DARWIN, Australia – Johnrel Amora is playing in his first-ever international beach volleyball tournament in the 2019 Arafura Games.
Amora and Hachaliah Gilbuena advanced to the round of 16 of the 2019 Arafura Games men’s beach volleyball tournament after beating Australia 10, 21-12, 21-13, Thursday at the Darwin Waterfront.
Amora and Gilbuena swept Pool D after winning two of their matches to clinch a spot in the playoffs.
“Hindi ako makapaniwala kasi ang tatangkad nila. Nag-focus lang talaga kami sa laro. Points na lang po talaga ‘yung nasa isip namin kahit hindi na makapalo,” said the 24-year-old Amora.
Amora is playing his first international competition ever and he credits the beach volleyball program of his hometown of Tagum City in making it happen.
“Napakasuwerte namin doon dahil may court kami doon. Napalaking bagay ‘yung court. Kung wala ‘yung court, wala kami dito,” said Amora, who added high school players are already exposed to beach volleyball because of the court.
Amora is also glad to team up with Gilbuena in his first ever international competition, his partner since college when they were still playing for University of Mindanao-Tagum.
“Kami partner since college for six years. Mas nagkakaintindihan kami sa court. Walang sisihan, basta laro lang,” said Amora.
For his part, Gilbuena is hoping for the best as they are expected to compete against Australian teams if they go deeper into the knockout rounds.