DASMARINAS, Cavite - Promising spikers Naomi Lei Otoshi and Joan Marvie Morata emerged as unlikely semifinalists in the first leg of the 11th Petron Ladies’ Beach Volleyball Tournament at the sand court of the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute campus.
The duo, playing under the Philippine School of Business Administration-2 banner, earned the last berth in Group A when they prevailed over their last elimination-round foes, Emilio Aguinaldo College-Cavite’s Christine Emmanuelle Suyao and Genevieve Legaspi, 21-18.
This allowed Otoshi and Morata to finish their bracket with a 2-1 record for second spot in this spikefest supported by Mikasa Balls.
They pounced on their rival’s errors at the frontline to quickly gain the upperhand and join top Group A semifinalist, De La Salle University-Dasmarinas-2’s Giselle Bembo and Maribeth Lara.
“Inayos namin iyung receiving namin. Dahil dito, lumamang kami at hindi na sila (EAC) nakahabol sa errors nila,” said Morata, a marketing senior.
Otoshi and Morata arranged a semis clash with Rizal Technological University-1’s Jessa Aranda and Jonafer San Pedro, who qualified in Group B via a three-game sweep, together with the Yongco sisters Iari and Iumi of De La Salle University-Dasmarinas-1.
The PSBA duo improved their chances of barging into the semis when they first put away RTU-2’s Priscilla Catacutan and Lyn Bhel Losaria, 21-14.
After yielding a 16-21 setback to La Salle-Dasma’s Bembo and Lara, Otoshi and Morata bounced back with their second triumph at the expense of Suyao and Legaspi, 21-17.
Bembo and Lara completed a three-game sweep of Group A after posting a 21-16 stopping of Catacutan and Losaria.
RTU’s Aranda and San Pedro, after a 21-7 win over PSBA-1’s Dyrene Rose Benecio and Jona Abueg, went on to wallop PATTS spikers Alexei Sudario and Katrina Medici, 2-15.
On the other hand, the Yongco sisters tied Benecio and Abueg for second at 2-1 and relied on better tiebreak record despite taking a 17-21 loss to Aranda and San Pedro.