SUBIC — Veteran Jovelyn Gonzaga is fast turning out to be a perfect partner to Cherry Ann “Sisi” Rondina.
With long-time partner Bernadeth Pons still recovering from injury, Rondina found comfort and joy playing with Gonzaga as the duo stunned Czech Republic’s Valerie Dvornikova and Anna Pospisilova, 21-14, 21-16, to reach the quarterfinal round of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures Friday, Dec. 9, at the Subic Bay Sand Court here.
And they did that with Rondina fighting off leg cramps near the end of the exciting second set.
Reaching the quarters was the best so far for the former University of Santo Tomas star, and she attributed it to Gonzaga’s great defensive stand – not to mention court savvy.
“I considered this as my best finish in the pro tour because this is the first time that me and Jov teamed up. I’m paired with Bernadette during the past two editions of the Southeast Asian Games in Manila in 2019 and 2022 Hanoi, Vietnam where we bagged bronze medal each,” said Rondina.
Their win over the Czechs was a fitting follow-up to their gutsy 21-19, 21-18 victory over the fancied duo of Darby Dunn and Olivia Grace Furlano of Canada in the first round of the main draw.
“We did our job like I focused more on defense and Jov [Gonzaga] on blocks. Those were the adjustments we did. We treated each game one game at a time,” added Rondina.
Genesa Jane Eslapor and Floremel Rodriguez, the other PH pair, were not fortunate though.
After sweeping past their rivals from Singapore, Genesa Jane Eslapor and Floremel Rodriguez lost to Israeli pair of Yahli Ashush and Anita Dave, 13-21, 16-21.
The same thing happened for Jude Garcia and Krung Arbasto in the men’s side.
They lost to Latvians Martin Plavins and Mikhail Samoilov, 19-21, 21-18, 7-15, after trouncing Japanese Ryoto Sato and Ryo Shindo, 2-0, early in the day.