PANGASINAN spikers Melanie Carrera and Cindy Benitez lived up to their billing as the team to beat after a hot 2-0 start in the final leg of the 2014 Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Tournament at the sand-courts of the University of the East-Caloocan campus on Friday.
Carrera and Benitez are on top of Group A after first disposing Dasmariñas tossers Sheila Mae Nanquil and Alyanna Gorospe, 21-4.
The tandem needed just 15 minutes to overpower their stunned foes, grabbing an 11-0 score, and then continuing the attack mode the rest of the way.
Then a 21-8 beating of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina 1 bets Shirley Martinez and Lourdes dela Cruz earned Carrera and Benitez their second straight victory.
“Naging maganda lang po siguro ang pairings,” Carrera said humbly in this beach volley tournament backed by Petron and Mikasa balls.
Meanwhile, Viray twins Nieza and Jieziela, who are also from Pangasinan, opened their campaign with a 21-7 beating of St. Michael-Laguna 2’s Raissa Mae Punan and Maja Minorka Mercado, before absorbing a close 18-21setback at the hands of University of the East spikers Francisclyn Cais and Krycel Cueva.
The left-handed Jeziela, who is 15 minutes younger than Nieza, led a big attack which allowed them to take charge right away at 12-6.
But the defensive game of Cais and Cueva picked up the rest of the way and slowed down the Pangasinan bets, keeping the two from taking the lead in Group B.
“Tinambakan namin sila (Punan and Mercado) pero na depensahan kami nu'ng sumunod,” said Jeziela, a fourth year high school student at the Pangasinan School of Arts and Trade.
With their 1-1 win-loss record, the twins remained on course in earning a seat to the semifinals.
Cais and Cueva, who made it to the semifinals in the third leg, are ahead of Group B after they turned back Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina-2's Roselyn Rumay and Marialyn Mahilum.
The Viray sisters are sharing second spot in their bracket with St. Michael-Laguna 2’s Raissa Mae Punan and Maja Minorka Mercado.