VETERANS Jovelyn Gonzaga and Nene Bautista of EC Cola-Army A schooled Bernadeth Pons and Kyla Atienza of FEU-Petron, 19-21, 21-16, 15-13, in Pool D at the start of the Philippine SuperLiga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Saturday at the Sands SM By The Bay.
Gonzaga, who won three consecutive titles in the Nestea beach volleyball when she was still playing for Central Philippines University, had to overcome a sluggish start against a Lady Tams pair that finished runner-up in the UAAP Season 78 beach volleyball.
"Thankful ako na ang communication namin in Nene hindi nawala, nakapag-adjust kami at naitaas pa ang laro namin," said Gonzaga. "Mahirap talaga silang kalaban. Magaling talaga sila, ang ganda ng kanilang skills sa beach volleyball."
Pons and Atienza lost for the first time after pulling off a 21-14, 21-12 victory over the Meralco tandem of Jona San Pedro and April Ross Hingpit in the morning session.
Meanwhile, Foton's Cherry Rondina and Patty Orendain advanced to the quarterfinals from Pool C after drubbing Accel Quantum Plus' Aileen Abuel and Princess Listana, 21-3, 21-7.
They earlier won by default over the Mapua duo Shaira Hermano and Niella Ramilo, who withdrew from the competition on the day of the tournament.
In other matches, Standard Insurance-Navy A tandem of Norie Jane Diaz and Pau Soriano defeated RC Cola-Army B duo of Genie Sabas and Jeannie delos Reyes, 21-18, 22-22, in Pool A.
Sabas and delos Reyes, however, bested University of the East's Angelica Dacaymat and Jasmine Alcayde, 21-18, 21-13.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas and Sheila Pineda of Petron XCS Aiza also won by default over Mapua's Hermano and Ramilo in Pool C, while Morada and Molina downed Standard Insurance-Navy B's Florence Madulid and Pau Genido, 21-17, 21-14.
Meralco's San Pedro and Hingpit rebounded in the first afternoon match with a 13-21, 21-18, 15-10 victory over Cignal's Vhima Condada and Mary Grace Berte to raise their record to 1-1 in Pool D.