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    Three-way fight for crown looms as Superliga Beach Challenge Cup quarterfinals underway

    Jul 31, 2015
    The Petron XCS tandem of Gretchen Ho and Charo Soriano remains in the hunt for the Super Liga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup title. Jerome Ascano

    THREE unbeaten teams try to inch closer to the crown Saturday when the quarterfinals of the PLDT Home Ultera Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup 2015 powered by Smart Live More resume at the SM By the Bay in SM Mall of Asia.

    Spotless Cignal HD Spikers B clashes with Meralco at 2:30 pm, while Foton Tornadoes and Amy's battle Philips Gold and Gilligan's at 4 pm and 4:40 pm, respectively, as the race heats up for the inaugural women’s champion of the meet organized by Sports Core with Accel as official outfitter, Sands By the Bay as venue partner and Maynilad as official water provider.

    Also set to be aired live over TV 5 at 3:20 pm is the collision between Foton Hurricane and Petron XCS in an encounter expected to be a battle of beauty and skills with Bea Tan and Pau Soriano testing the mettle of Gretchen Ho-Charo Soriano tandem.

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    The quarterfinal survivors will march to the semis set later in the day, with the finals to be played by next week.

    “Now, the hard work begins,” said Tan, who is expected to have a tough time against former Ateneo de Manila University teammates Ho and Soriano.

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    “This tournament doesn't only tests our skills and power -- it also tests our mental toughness. Since this is a very short tournament with no room for error, we have to be mentally tough to survive and win the crown.”

    Prior to the quarterfinal, Sprint 4T faces Accel Quantum Plus-Perpetual Molino A at 11:40 am, and Benguet Electric Cooperative clashes with Accel Quantum Plus-Perpetual Molino B at 12:30 pm in the classification battle for 9th to 12th places.

    Meanwhile, Champion Infinity B challenges Cignal HD Spikers A at 10 am while highly-touted SM By the Bay tackles Centerstage at 10:50 am in a pair of explosive semifinal battles in the men's division.

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    Also seeing action in the penultimate playing day of the meet are Champion Infinity A, which locks horns with Cignal HD Spikers B at 7:30 am in the battle for 5th-6th places; Perpetual Molino A, which tangles with IEM at 8:20 am for 7th-8th places; and SM By the Bay B, which faces Perpetual Molino B at 9:10 am for 9th-10th places.

    Among the quarterfinalists, Cignal HD Spikers B of Wensh Tiu and April Ross Hingpit is heavily favored to coast all the way to the crown following an emphatic 21-16, 21-13 demolition of Petron Sprint 4T and a 21-12, 21-12 crushing of Accel Quantum Plus-Perpetual Molino B in the opener last July 18.

    A De La Salle University stalwart and a key role player in the rotation of Shopinas in the previous PSL All-Filipino Conference, Tiu, however, stressed the quarterfinals is an entirely different ballgame.

    “Everybody will be bringing their A-games in the quarterfinals. All teams are competitive. We have to train hard to prepare for a much tougher battle and minimize our errors to sustain the momentum” she said.

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    The Petron XCS tandem of Gretchen Ho and Charo Soriano remains in the hunt for the Super Liga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup title. Jerome Ascano
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