Rondina, pal hope to deliver

BORACAY – Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons, the Philippines’ top sand court aces, hope to make an impact in the main draw of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open presented by Globe today at the White House Beach Station 1 here.

No strangers to international play, Rondina and Pons are going all-out to improve the country’s best finish of fifth place in the Manila Open last year.

“Sa ligang ito, nandito na yung mas mga beterana, malalaki. Still, makakakuha din kami dito ng experience at may matutunan kami in this league at sa mga upcoming games namin,” said Rondina, who is fresh from her UAAP indoor stint with University of Santo Tomas.

The highly-popular Rondina-Pons tandem debuted in the 29th Southeast Asian beach volleyball tournament two years ago in Singapore where the erstwhile collegiate rivals made it to the quarterfinals.

Other Filipina tandems competing in the 1-star event organized by the Beach Volleyball Republic are Dij Rodriguez and Bea Tan, Jackie Estoquia and DM Demontaño, and Fiola Ceballos and Patty Orendain.

The fifth Philippine pair, Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor, exited after dropping a 17-21, 14-21 decision  to Gerda Grudzinskaite and Karole Virbickaite of Lithuania in yesterday’s qualifiers.

“Matitibay din ang mga kalaban at malalaki pa. Pero, tiwala naman kami sa bawat isa sa amin na kaya naman namin. Gagawin namin ang best namin kung ano ang gameplan,” said Pons after seeing the Lithuanian topped Barbon and Eslapor.

The young Lithuania pair rallied from a 9-11 second set deficit to complete the straight sets win.  Despite the loss in their Beach World Tour debut with Eslapor, Barbon found some positives that will help them in the long run.

“First time namin pero sayang din kasi hindi maganda yung kinalabasan. Pero okay na rin sa amin, experience ito para sa amin. Yung height po nila, hangga’t balikat lang po kami. May skills naman sila,” said Barbon.

A stacked international field is facing the host country in the main draw starting at 7 a.m.