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    Fri, Aug 17

    Air Force 1 tossers claim Petron beach volley crown

    Feb 17, 2014
    AirForce1's Judy Caballejo and Iari Yongco (4th and 5thfrom left) display their trophies as opening leg champions of the 2014 Petron Ladies' Beach volleyball tournament. They are joined by (from left) organizer Tisha Abundo, Victioia Evangelista, Gabriel

    STA. ANA, Cagayan -- This time around, former La Salle-Dasmarinas bet Iari Yongco finally got her chance to win a crown.

    Yongco and teammate Judy Ann Caballejo weathered the moderate winds blowing from across the Babuyan Channel to beat fellow Philippine Air Force teammates Ana Abanto and Gena Andaya, 21-15, 21-15, and claim the first leg of the 2014 Petron Ladies' Beach Volleyball Tournament at the powdery sands of Anguib Beach here over the weekend.

    The 5-foot-11 Yongco scored two crucial points in the second set, with her drop shots and service allowing Philippine Air Force to gain some distance, 8-6.

    A series of smashes by Caballejo and Yongco later allowed them to stretch their advantage to four, 11-7. Then, Yongco’s attacks from the net eventually enabled PAF-1 team to nurse a seven-point spread, 17-10, en route to the second-set win.

    “Diskarte `yung drop ball. Kasi, kapag malapit sa net, mahirap ibalik sa kabila ang bola. Kaya nag-drop shots para sure ball,” said Yongco, who made the finals during the third leg last year with Mariel Desengano.

    The Air Force-1 pair, coached by Clarence Esteban, advanced to the semis following a four-game sweep of their elimination-round games in this spikefest supported by Cagayan Economic Zone Authority, the provincial government of Cagayan, and Mikasa balls.

    In the semis, Yongco and Caballejo got past Rizal Technological University-2’s Priscilla Catacutan and Jessa Aranda, 21-8, 21-12, to make it to the best-of-three finals.

    Abanto and Andaya earlier topped Group B with a 3-1 record, highlighted by the win over Letran’s Monique Joy Pablo and Ethel Evangelista, 21-15. Then they stunned Cagayan Valley-2’s Paulina Soriano and Leuseth Dawis, 21-10, 21-15, in the semis to arrange a championship clash with Yongco and Caballejo.

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    AirForce1's Judy Caballejo and Iari Yongco (4th and 5thfrom left) display their trophies as opening leg champions of the 2014 Petron Ladies' Beach volleyball tournament. They are joined by (from left) organizer Tisha Abundo, Victioia Evangelista, Gabriel
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