DASMARINAS - University of East-1’s Pia Sarmiento and Madel Gavarra applied some lessons learned from a former coach as they hacked out a pair of victories at the De La Salle-Health Sciences Institute sand court on Thursday.
They used their power-laden drop shots at the right moment to put away their rivals and join San Beda’s Janine Marciano and Frances Molina in the early lead of the 2013 Petron Ladies Beach Volleyball Battle of Champions.
Sarmiento and Gavarra first turned back San Beda 1’s Debbie Dultra and Mona Diolazo, 21-16, before edging Letran 2’s Patricia Anne Belleza and Jan Carreon, 24-22.
The twin wins put them in the early lead of Group A with Marciano and Molina in this tournament backed by Petron, Mikasa, Molten and Erase Xfoliant.
The pair from San Beda 1 first came away with a 21-11 swamping of Belleza and Carreon, before disposing of Philippine Merchant Marine School’s Anne Nicole Banas and Grace Ranola, 21-8.
In other Group A games, La Salle-Dasmarinas standouts Iumi Yongco and Mara Galicia got off to a good start with a 21-18 beating of Banas and Ranola, before absorbing an 18-21 setback at the hands of Diolazo and Dultra.
“Diskarte lang. Turo ni coach ito,” said the 17-year-old Sarmiento, who was taught some lessons on how to improve her game by former assistant coach Darwin Campana, who passed away recently.
The 21-year-old Gavarra, an education senior, said their last game was more challenging, after Belleza and Carreon tied the match at 21-11.
A service error by their opponent, followed by Gavarra’s power-laden placement shot to the middle, allowed them to earn the last two points and the win.
Meanwhile, La Salle-Dasmarinas bets Mariel Desengano and Maribeth Lara eked out a 21-17 win over University of the Philippines’ Pau Genido and Liezschel Tiu, 21-17, while Letran 1’s Monique Pablo and Queenie Mondejar outplayed Chelo Ramos and Shaya Adorador, 21-10.