Veteran players Bang Pineda and Jonah Sabete of Sta. Lucia B walloped Ariane Alarcon and Christina Canares of Kennedy Solar Energy-PetroGazz, 21-10, 21-7, to open the historic Gatorade-Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup on Friday, Feb. 26, at the SBMA Sands Court in Subic.
Pineda and Sabete showed no signs of rust to emerge victorious in the opening game of the first volleyball tournament to be given the green light amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
But beyond posting a winning start in Pool A, Pineda and Sabete were glad to finally play again after an 11-month layoff and be part of this remarkable event not just for volleyball but also for non-professional sports.
“At this point, more than winning the game, we’re happy to play again in a tournament. Missing the game for so long made me more inspired and I’m sure all players are motivated and will unleash their desire to win in this competitive tournament,” said Pineda, the UAAP Season 76 beach volleyball MVP from Adamson.
“Finally after almost a year, we were able to play again. We’re really excited and inspired as we continue to compete here in PSL,” said Sabete.
Sta. Lucia A’s duo of DM Demontano and Jackie Estoquia prevailed in their first match as well but needed to fend off the hard-fighting Toby’s Sports pair of Jonah San Pedro and Javen Sabas in the first set before getting a 21-18, 21-13 win in Pool B.
The Lady Realtors were not the only big winners in the morning session of the opening day as the two Abanse Negrense teams took care of their initial assignments.
Alexa Polidario and Erjan Magdato of Negrense A clipped Jennymar Senares and Kyla Gallego of F2 Logistics, 21-15, 21-12, in Pool A while Jennifer Cosas and Gelimae Villanueva of Negrense B downed Ella Viray and Theresa Ramas of United Auctioneers, Inc., 21-13, 21-12, in Pool B.
This milestone competition made possible by PSL in cooperation with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and IATF Region III will run until Sunday, Feb. 28.