JOVELYN Gonzaga and Nene Bautista takes on Bang Pineda and Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, while Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza battle Cherry Rondina and Patty Orendain in the semifinals of the 2016 Philippine Superliga Challenge Cup beach volleyball tournament on Sunday at the SM By the Bay in Mall of Asia.
The survivors clash in the finals in the afternoon.
Gonzaga faces Maizo, her partner in the 2011 Southeast Asian Games beach volleyball.
“Since we already played together in the national team, she already has an idea on how to compete against me,” said Gonzaga, wearing the colors of RC Cola Army.
“Beach volleyball is more of a mind game where experience plays a crucial role. We have to be two steps ahead of them for us to win.”
Pineda and Maizo, wearing the colors of Petron XCS, eliminated Danika Gendrauli and Aby Marano in straight sets to get a big boost in morale.
“But it’s nothing if we don’t win the crown,” said Pineda.
“We have to be at our best against them. They are experienced and very talented. We have to prepare and train hard to beat them.”
Also expected to be a close match is the battle between Pons-Atienza and Rondina-Orendain.
Although FEU-Petron's Pons and Atienza have the ceiling, Foton's Rondina and Orendain are still favored due to their aggressive style of play in the tournament backed by Asics, Mikasa, Senoh, Petron, Foton and TV5.
“It’s hard to predict,” said Rondina, a prized beach volley specialist in Cebu before joining University of Santo Tomas in the UAAP.
“We’ll just work hard and do the little things that made us successful in the past.”
The final match is set 5:30 p.m. and will be aired live over Sports 5.