USPF rules Talisay beach volleyball tilt
The University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) dominated the Talisay City Beach Volley Invitational after clinching both the men's and women's titles yesterday at the sand court beside the Talisay City National Historic Shrine Liberation Monument.
The USPF women's pair of Apple Saraum and Rochelle Rica retained their title with a 21-16, 19-21, 15-12 outsmarting of Southwestern University (SWU) while its men's team of Edward Ybanez and Edmar Bonono became the inaugural men's division champion with a 29-27, 21-13 demolition of University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R).
Saraum and Rica's title defense did not come easy after the SWU duo of Therese Rae Ramas and Anna Bennova Sabanal put up a good fight for the title.
In the first set, both teams started strong until the defending champions managed to put up a three-point lead, 8-5.
Ramas and Sabanal rallied to close the gap at 9-10 but USPF pulled away for a commanding 8-point lead at 19-11.
SWU managed to hold serve for five straight points but eventually conceded the first set to the defending champions, 21-16.
In the second set, SWU managed to force a deciding set against USPF by staying close and managing to tie the score seven times before eventually closing the set at 21-19 in their favor.
In the deciding set, after two ties at 4-all and 5-all, USPF slowly pulled away and went on to take the set and the title via a 15-12 decision when SWU sent the ball wide on a return shot.
In the battle for the men's title, Ybanez and Bonono had to also work hard against the USJ-R pair of Jayson Uy and Jade Illut, especially in the first set, which went on several deuces before USPF was able to pull off a win at 29-27.
The USPF duo did not have to exert as much effort in the second set, which they won at 21-13.
Bonono, who is new to the team captain said it was his first time to play against USJ-R in a tournament and was glad that they won. He could not say, though, that they could have had the same outcome if they had played against USJ-R during last weekend's regional eliminations of the 16th Nestea Beach Volley in Molaboal.
Both teams were supposed to meet in the fight for third place but USPF had to default after Bonono suffered from cramps during their quarterfinal match against Holy Cross of Davao College (HCDC).
He said that the heat also got to him during the tournament in Moalboal. He said he has to train hard and get used to such condition for the Nestea national finals next month in Boracay.
Jeanneth Villagonzalo, Talisay City Sports Commission executive, said they decided to hold a men's division this year to make the tournament more exciting.