THE premier beach volleyball tournament in the country is now a debutante.
Nestea Beach Volleyball just turned 18 as the annual summer meet staged its 2015 edition last May 1-3 at the fine white sand beaches of Boracay.
Twenty top collegiate teams, 10 each in the women’s and men’s divisions, saw action in the three-day event that attracted a large crowd of tourists, beachgoers, visitors, and plain locals.
The country’s top spikers battled it out under the scorching heat of the sun from dusk till dawn as the eliminations and semifinals were held from May 1-2.
The finals between De La Salle and University of Santo Tomas in the distaff side, and College of St. Benilde versus University of Southern Philippines Foundation in the men’s division, had the temperature rising even more in the island paradise.
The Santo Tomas pair of Cherry Rondina and Cherry Rivera fought back from a set down to beat La Salle’s Cyd Demecillo and Kim Fajardo for the title, 19-21, 21-17, 15-13.
Meanwhile, USPF’s Edward Ybanez and Edmar Bonono swept Johnvic de Guzman and Marjun Alingasa of St. Benilde in the championship match, 21-19, 21-19, to keep the men’s crown.
The fun and action didn’t stop there as the country’s top volleyball stars joined the festivity for the first-ever #MyNesteaBeach Volleyball Fantasy match.
The group of Rachel Anne Daquis, Gretchen Ho, Cha Cruz, and Michele Gumabao comprised the light blue team, while Dindin Santiago-Manabat, Mela Tunay, Tricia Santos, and Amy Ahomiro made up the dark blue squad.
The stars didn’t mind getting soaked under the sun as Daquis, Ho, Cruz, and Gumabao won the first meeting between the two teams, 21-18, 14-21, 15-12.
The next game of the #MyNesteaBeach Volleyball Fantasy match saw the light blue team came from a set down to turn back the dark blue squad, 15-21, 21-19, 15-9, for a two-game sweep of the series.
“Masaya kahit fun game lang siya,” said Gumabao, a former De La Salle star.
“Sulit naman ‘yung pawis and init,” she added laughing.
All former rivals in the UAAP, the spikers played alongside together for the first time which they enjoyed to the hilt.
“Sobrang saya. It was really hot out there this afternoon but I think it was a really good, close fight,” said Ho.
Asked if she would want to do it again, Ho replied with a quick and loud, “Yes!”
With its featured yearly beach volleyball tournament and the featured fantasy match,#MyNesteaBeach turned every volleyball fan’s fantasy into reality.