Rondina-Pons, Arbasto-Garcia bag BVR on Tour first leg titles

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TWO YEARS, one month, seven weeks and five days.

Those are all it took the power duo of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons to return as Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) on Tour champions champions. And it was worth the wait.

Representing Creamline 1, Rondina and Pons remained untouchable and pulled off a dominant 21-10, 21-16 victory over Good Health-CDO’s Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor to capture the first leg crown on Monday in Santa Ana, Cagayan.

The Cool Smashers won all their six matches without yielding a set in the bubble.

One of the winningest BVR athletes, Rondina captured her fourth gold medal with the success in Santa Ana her second with Pons. Their last victory together was at the Lianga, Surigao del Sur, leg in September 1, 2019. The tour took a backseat for the 31st Southeast Asian Games and was unable to return for more than two years because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to be focused on our goals all the time,” Rondina said.

Creamline booked a golden double with Krung Arbasto and Jude Garcia beating PLDT’s Rancel Varga and Efraem Dimaculangan, 21-19, 19-21, 15-12, in a seesaw men’s final to win the crown.

Arbasto, who won his second BVR gold, took over as the Cool Smashers pulled away from a 12-12 tie in the deciding set to prevail in the intense match. Creamline 2, which also beat PLDT in pool play, went undefeated in seven matches.

Garcia, who finally nailed his first BVR championship, put his team at 20-19 before the Cool Smashers clinched the opening set after Varga’s hit went out. PLDT regrouped just in time after squandering a 15-10 lead, with Dimaculangan nailing a kill to force a decider.

Rondina and Pons stamped their class in a 21-8, 21-8 win over Biogenic’s Heather Guino-o and Roma Joy Doromal to force a championship showdown with Barbon and Eslapor, who rallied from a set down to fashion out a 16-21, 21-17, 15-9 victory over Creamline 2’s Dij Rodriguez and Dzi Gervacio in the other semifinals.

Gervacio and Rodriguez settled for the bronze medal following a 21-18, 21-14 decision over Guino-o and Doromal.

Arbasto and Garcia overcame EVI Construction’s KR Guzman and Doy Barrica, 21-13, 21-14, to arrange the finals duel with Varga and Dimaculangan, who tripped Creamline 1’s Ranran Abdilla and Jaron Requinton, 22-20, 21-15, in the other semifinals.

Abdilla and Requinton achieved a podium finish following a 21-13, 21-17 romp of Guzman and Barrica.

The second and final starts on Thursday in the same venue.

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