DESPITE rainy weather, the duo of Bang Pineda and Janine Marciano and the tandem of Maica Morada and April Hingpit waxed hot in the field as they secured berths in the semifinals of the Beach Volleyball Republic Christmas Open tournament at the MOA Sands by the Bay on Saturday.
Pineda, a former UAAP beach volleyball champion with Adamson, Marciano, the ex-San Beda top hitter, advance to the next round after downing Michelle Morente and Mich Otoshi, 21-19, 21-13; Fille Cainglet-Cayetano and Denden Lazaro, 21-9, 22-20; and the pair of Rose Cailing and April Romero, 21-14, 21-15.
“Wala naman kami masyadong preparation. Enjoy volley lang," said Pineda, who admitted it was very hard playing on a stormy weather.
“Medyo hassle lang kasi sobrang lakas ng ulan. Sobrang hirap lang kasi bumibigat ang bola, pumapasok sa mata ang ulan and medyo kailangan ng ball control,” she added.
Meanwhile, Morada and Hingpit bested Cailing and Romero, 21-12, 21-11; Morente and Otoshi, 21-17, 21-18; before eliminating Cainglet-Cayetano and Lazaro, 21-10, 21-10.
Both teams played just fine even with the cold weather and wet sand as they share the top spot in the five-team Group B for slots in the crossover semifinals set Sunday.
The tandem of Pineda and Marciano and the pair of Morada and Hingpit will clash on Sunday morning at the resumption of the elimination play determine the top seed in the group and play the no. 2 team in Group A.
The second seed team in Group B takes on the top squad in Group A in the Final Four of the competition that offers a total cash prize of P100,000.
Pineda is looking to win their game against Morada and Hingpit to avoid an early clash with Group A’s top pair of Bea Tan and Brazilian Rupia Inck.
“Ang mabigat na kalaban sa kabilang bracket siyempre sina Bea at Rupia kasi kita naman na kondisyon talaga sila,” she said.
Tan and Inck, who started their day with a gritty victory over the University of the Philippines pair of Vina Alinas and Arielle Estranero 21-19, 19-21, 15-6, finished their Group A campaign with a 3-1 record.
The duo dominated national team players Charo Soriano and Filipino-American Alexa Micek, 21-18, 21-18, pounded on San Sebastian’s Marielle Sinamban and Julie Ann Tiangco, 21-9, 21-7 before losing to the pair of Judy Ann Caballejo and Camille Abanto, 21-14, 10-21, 9-15, in a thrilling decider.
Inck played for Philippine Superliga Grand Prix runner up Petron, while Tan teamed up with Ateneo star Alyssa Valdez for a third place finish in the UAAP Season 78 beach volley tournament.
Caballejo and Abanto are tied with the pair of Micek and Soriano at second with 2-1 card as both teams remain in the hunt for semis slots in Group A.