THE country's finest volleyball players take to the sand on Saturday as the inaugural PLDT Home Ultera-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup 2015 powered by Smart Live More comes off the wraps at the Sands By The Bay in SM Mall of Asia.
The tandem of Cha Cruz and beach volley specialist Michelle Laborte of Cignal HD Spikers A is tipped to dominate when it battles the duo of Danika Gendrauli and Jane Diaz of Gilligan's in the 2:30 pm encounter, while Filipino-American stunner Alexa Micek and Fille Cayetano of Petron Sprint 4T face Bea Tan and Pau Soriano of Foton Hurricane in the 3:20 pm match to be aired live over TV5.
TheCignal A-Gilligan's meeting is expected to be a marquee matchup as Laborte - the former University of St. La Salle-Bacolod star who won a bronze medal in the beach volley competition of the 23rd Southeast Asian Games in Manila in 2005 - will be stacked against Gendrauli, the beach volley queen of Cebu who won the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc (Cesafi) crown in 2011.
The Mountain Province tag team of Cindy Benitez and Florence May Madulid of Benguet Electric Cooperative (Beneco) will also be put to a test when it tangles with reigning Queen of the Sand Fiola Ceballos and Patty Orendain of Foton Tornadoes at 4 pm.
The pretty pair of Charo Soriano and Gretchen Ho of Petron XCS then battles Wensh Tiu and April Ross Hingpit of Cignal HD Spikers B in the 4:40 pm game of the tournament organized by Sports Core and with Accel as official outfitter, Sands By the Bay as venue partner, and Maynilad as official water provider.
“What we have is a very busy opening-day schedule,” said PSL president Ramon ‘Tats’ Suzara. “The format is designed in such a way that only the toughest team will survive. We guarantee that all the games will keep spectators at the edge of their seats because it's going to be non-stop action from the opening serve up to the final kill.”
Samantha Dawson and Len Cortel of Amy's kicks off action in the women’s side as they collide with Evangeline Pastor and Kim Ygay of Accel Quantum Plus A-Perpetual Molino at 1 pm.
The tandem of Pastor and Ygay, however, will march back to the sand at 5:20 pm to clash with Rossan Fajardo and Aileen Abuel of Philips Gold.
Capping the day-long event is the 6:20 p.m. match featuring Jem Guttierez and Jusabelle Brillo of Meralco against Beneco, followed by the 7 p.m. encounter between Accel Quantum Plus B-Perpetual Molino tandem of Aurora Tripoli and Rochet Dela Paz against the Cignal HD Spikers.
Also tipped to provide excitement is the action in the men's side where Champion Infinity A collides with Perpetual Molino A in the opener at 7:30 am.
SM By the Bay B will clash with Cignal HD Spikers A at 8:20 am, Cignal HD Spikers B battles Perpetual Molino B at 9 am; and Champion Infinity B takes on Instituto Estetico Manila (IEM) at 9:40 am.
Centerstage will lock horns with Cignal HD Spikers A at 10:20 am, before Champion Infinity A put an end to the morning hostilities as it challenges SM By the Bay B at 11 am.