BEACH VOLLEYBALL EXIBITION
THE first exhibition matches of beach volleyball in Dagupan City played at the Tondaligan Beach last February 25-26 were warmly applauded by an enthusiastic crowd as the teams played like they were playing championship matches.
Mayor Belen Fernandez, who welcomed the holding of the exhibition matches, was on hand to present the prizes to all the winners at the end of the two-day Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) games on Feb. 26.
The BVR Team 1 won in the women’s division while University of Sto. Tomas Team 1 in men’s division.
Both BVR 1 and UST 1 blasted their respective opponents in contrasting fashions to win the championship that earned them the top prizes of P35,000 and trophy each.
The BVR 1 tandem of Angeline Gervacio, former Ateneo Blue Eagles player and best attacker in the Women’s National Athletic Association (WNCAA) junior division and Maria Beatriz Tan, also former Ateneo Blue Eagles player, stopped the duo of Therese Rae Ramas and Floremel Rodriguez of Cebu’s South Western University, 16-14, to prevent an extended game.
In contrast, the final match of the University of Sto. Tomas 1 and Far Eastern University in the men’s division was extended for one game as FEU won the first game and UST 1 took the second, with the championship decided in the dying minutes of the second set, which UST 1 finally won.
For winning the elimination rounds without a single loss, UST 1 as well BVR 1 earned twice-to-beat berths in the finals of the Dagupan leg of BVR on Road.
UST’s Kris Roy Guzman and Anthony Lemuel Arbastro Jr., both UAAP champions in season 79, bounced back from their first game setback in the hands of FEU’s Kevin Hadlocon and Jeremiah Barrica, both 2016 Unigames Men’s Beach Volleyball Champions, 21-16, to force an extended game.
In set 2, both were even at 20-20 with still anybody’s game, till Guzman scored a drive on the right that hit the end-margin to make it 21-20, and in the ensuing play, his serve hit the upper part of the net in the center that still went in to give them the championship.
In the earlier women’s final, SWU evened the score at 13-all with a difficult drive to the left by Ramas but hurt his ankle, resulting in a five-minute medical break.
After the break, she returned to the court still limping with teammate Rodriguez, whose serve in the ensuing play went in to make the score 13-14 in their favor.
But after that, BVR 1 took the offensive with three successive points two by Tan and one by Gervacio to make it 16-14 to erect a two-point margin and run away with the championship.
Mayor Fernandez, assisted by Councilor Jose Netu Tamayo, City Tourism Officer Sharon Maramba and Dagupan City Sports Commissioner Finnela Sim, also awarded FEU and SWU the first runner-up prizes of Php15,000 and trophy each, while UST 2 in the women’s side and UST 2 in the men’s side received Php 7,000 and trophy each, respectively.
BVR, which was founded last year, will next move to Bacolod City in its bid to promote beach volleyball among the young people in various beaches in the country.
Confirming that Tondaligan Beach is now the heart of beach volleyball in Pangasinan, BVR vowed to come back sometime in May to stage another exhibition games for fans trooping to the beach during the Pista’y Dayat (Sea Festival).
The BVR matches also coincided with the relaunch of Tondaligan Beach as a major tourist destination in Dagupan and Pangasinan. (Leonardo Micua)