DASMARINAS, Cavite – Two veteran teams from De La Salle University-Dasmarinas got off to strong starts Sunday in the start of the opening of leg of the 11th Petron Ladies' Beach Volleyball Tournament.
Cloudy weather conditions favored the duo of Giselle Bembo and Maribeth Lara, and the Yongco sisters of Iari and Iumi as they each came up with two big wins at their own home-court – the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute campus here.
Bembo, who won the first leg last year with former teammate Jennifer Manzano, and Lara bucked a shaky start to lead DLSUD-1 to a 21-15 stopping of Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite bets Christine Emmanuelle Suyao and Genevieve Legaspi.
Then, they marched to their second consecutive win in Group A with a 21-16 triumph over Philippine School of Business Administration-2 duo Naomi Otoshi and Joan Morata.
The Yongco sisters used their height advantage as DLSUD-1 first overcame the PATTS School of Aeronautics tandem of Alexei Sudario and Katrina Marie Medici, 21-11.
They moved ahead in Group B after Iari and Iumi then demolished PSBA-1’s Dyrene Rose Benecio and Jona Lorraine Abueg, 21-13, in this spikefest supported by Mikasa Balls.
Suyao and Legaspi gave Bembo and Lara a wake-up call in their first game after they took charge early with a 6-1 advantage.
Playing a more composed game later on, Bembo banked on her power serves to put her team ahead, 11-10, before scoring thrice on her serves, as DLSUD-2 finally turned the tables on their foes, 16-12.
"Nu'ng unang game, hindi pa kami mainit sa umpisa. Pero bumawi kami nang kumalma na kami sa laro,” said Bembo, a 20-year-old mass communications junior.
In other matches, top contenders Naomi Lei Otoshi and Joan Morata also came away with a good start with a 21-14 beating of Rizal Technological University-2’s Priscilla Catacutan and Lyn Losaria.
RTU-2 then bounced back with a 21-13 win over Suyao and Legaspi, while their teammates in RTU’1, Jessa Aranda and Jonafer San Pedro waylaid Benecio and Abueg, 21-7.