LINGAYEN - Team Pangasinan-1’s Jennifer Manzano and new partner Cindy Benitez held their ground as expected at the start of the 2012 Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Battle of Champions.
Two other varsity squads from Metro Manila, Rizal Technological University bets Jessa Aranda and her rookie teammate Jonafer San Pedro, together with the University of the East-2 pair of Leusheth Dawis and Ashlee Razon, prevailed as well at the wind-blown, beach-front sand courts of the capitol grounds here.
Manzano, the 24-year-old spiker from the municipality of Binalonan, and Benitez came up with a pair of rousing wins to match Aranda and San Pedro's fast start in their own bracket.
Former champion Manzano and Benitez first outplayed the Philippine School of Business Administration duo of Joan Arceo and Grace Masangkay, 21-11, then fought off University of the East-1’s Kryssel Cueva and last year’s Battle of Champions winner Francislyn Cais, 21-13.
On the other hand, Aranda and San Pedro pulled off a 21-15 beating of La Salle-Dasmarinas spikers Giselle Bembo and Iari Yongco, before turning back Pangasinan-2’s Cassandra Lleda and Melanie Carrera, 21-17.
Meanwhile, the 5-foot-7 Dawis and Razon, who took a 16-21 loss to Lleda and Carrera, bounced back with 21-9 win over Mapua-1’s Bianca Reyes and Mabelle Lau.