SISI Rondina, Bernadeth Pons, and Jovelyn Gonzaga led the players who showed up for the beach volleyball tryouts on the third and final day of the Subic bubble organized by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF).
Rondina and Pons teamed up to win a bronze medal in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Manila in 2019, ending a 14-year medal drought for the country in beach volleyball.
They're now back to lead the bidders for spots in the national team being formed for future tournaments being eyed by the PNVF, primarily the coming SEA Games in Vietnam later in the year.
Joining them was Gonzaga, who played in her first official event after declining an invitation to try out for a spot in the indoor volleyball team and declaring that she will go full time in beach volleyball.
The veteran internationalist showed up after completing a 90-day retooling course with the Philippine Army.
Other senior players who joined the women’s tryouts were Alexa Polidario, Erjane Magdato, Babylove Barbon, Princess Robles, Honey Grace Cabansay, Jennifer Cosas, Tin Tiamzon Javen, Sabas, Gen Eslapor and Mer Jauculan.
In all, 21 showed up for the beach volleyball tryouts, not to mention two candidates who had to undergo quarantine for getting in close contact with a a Covid-19 positive coach.
“This goes to show that volleyball—and sports in general, for that matter—is eager to make a comeback amid the pandemic,” PNVF Ramon “Tats” Suzara said. “ We completed three days of tryouts and the turnout of aspirants breached expectations.”
A total of 89 players joined the three-day tryouts, including 21 in men's beach volleyball, 31 in men's indoor volleyball, and 16 in women's indoor volleyball.
Roma Mae Doromal, Grydelle Joanice Matibag, Khylem Harl Progella and Samantha Maranan also participated in the tryouts, hoping to land slots in the PNVF’s juniors program.
Leading the men’s cast were Jude Garcia, Jaron Requinton and James Buytrago, who gave the Philippines its first-ever SEA Games men's beach volleyball medal — a bronze — also in 2019.
Completing the seniors aspirants were Anthony Arbasto, Edwin Tolentino, Ranran Abdilla, Ronald Umang-it, Joven Camaganakan, AJ Pareja, Jade Becaldo, Calvin Sarte, James Pecaña, Jason Uy, Philip Bagalay and Joshua Miña.
Pol Salvador, Rancel Varga, Dominique Gabito, Efraem Dimaculangan, Jay Rack Dela Noche and Alexander Iraya tried out for the juniors slots.