BEA Tan and Jade Becaldo beat Alexa Micek and Hach Gilbuena, 21-14, 21-16, on Saturday night to win the King and Queen of the Sands beach volleyball tournament at the SM Sands By The Bay.
Tan and Becaldo bested seven other teams in the one-day event organized by national head coach Eric LeCain and the Beach Royals Philippines in an effort to raise beach volleyball's profile in the country.
Patty Orendain and Chris Guzman beat Fiola Ceballos and Jeriel Apelar to win the thrilling battle for third place, 27-25.
Tan and Becaldo topped the round-robin tournament before dispatching Ceballos and Apelar in the semifinal round. Micek and Gilbuena came in second in the eliminations and beat Orendain and Guzman in the other semifinal pairing.
LeCain said the tournament was formed to develop beach volleyball players who can play with different partners for the national team.
“This is something that started years ago,” the American coach said. “I use to have tournaments in the US. When I came in the Philippines, I noticed that a lot of events are school versus school or company versus company. Players sometimes don’t get a chance to play with different people and the level sometimes doesn’t go up.
“We came up with this idea to have a round-robin tournament where they can play with different partners and try to see different players for the national team,” said LeCain, who has coached beach volleyball in many countries.
“We want to raise the level of the game a bit more by forcing people to play with different partners so they can get a chance to find players for the national team,” LeCain added.
LeCain said he plans to stage more beach volleyball tournaments with a similar format in the future.
“I was so excited how things went yesterday. SM asked to see me to see if we can plan on the next tournament,” LeCain said.