WV lady spikers banner PH in 2019 volleyball world tour

THREE Western Visayas spikers will lead the Philippine national volleyball team in the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open on May 23 to 26.

Bernadette Pons of Talisay City, Negros Occidental will team up with Sisi Rondina on the sand court. 

The country is pinning its hopes on Rondina and Pons as well as four other local tandems in the women’s division and three in men’s play in this 1-star tournament, the second straight prestigious beach volleyball competition the country will host since last year’s Manila edition.

Rondina won four UAAP beach volleyball titles and four Most Valuable Player awards alongside Dzi Gervacio last year. The duo reached the quarterfinals before losing to the Japanese pair of Shinako Tanaka and Sakurako Fuji.

The Rondina-Pons tandem is expected to bring energy in this year’s tournament. The duo, who were bitter rivals in the UAAP season, took home the titles of the Philippine Superliga’s Challenge Cup in 2017 and 2018 under the Petron squad. 

Meanwhile, Fiola Ceballos of Bingawan, Iloilo will see action with Patty Orendain, who happens to be her teammate in the Generika-Ayala. The country will also pin its hope on Ilongga Jackielyn Estoquia and DM Demontano. Also representing the country in women’s division are the duo of Bea Tan and Floremel Rodriguez. 

Three teams will challenge the Pinay volleybelles from Japan, two teams each from Russia, Singapore, Slovenia and Thailand. Australia, Israel, Lithuania and Malaysia have one entry each in women’s action. 

In the men’s side, Ranran Abdilla will team up with Jessie Lopez as one of the three Pinoy team entries. The pair of James Buytrago and Anthony Albastro and the tandem of Mike Abria and Jade Becaldo are the other local bets in the 33-team field coming from 15 countries.