UST, New South Wales Phoenix rule BVR on Tour Sipalay leg

University of Santo Tomas completed a perfect run in the women’s division, while the New South Wales Phoenix of Australia topped the men’s side of the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour Sipalay leg Sunday, June 23, at the Poblacion Beach.

Sofiah Pagara and Khy Progella made short work of National University’s Honey Grace Cordero and Kat Epa under overcast skies, 21-18, 21-13, as the Tiger Sands went undefeated in four matches.

Aussies Killian Donovan and Jett Graham overcame a tough stand by Alas A’s Ranran Abdilla and AJ Pareja in the last two sets to pull off a 21-13, 17-21, 15-12 victory and finish their campaign with a 4-0 record.

Except for a part of the first set where the Lady Bulldogs briefly led, 16-15, to rally from a 0-5 hole, it was an all-Tiger Sands show to prevail over their UAAP rivals for a second day in a row.

UST, the reigning UAAP queens, defeated NU in three sets last Saturday, June 22.

After Abdilla led Alas in forcing a decider, Donovan and Graham scored the final’s last two points after seeing their lead trimmed down to 13-12.

Donovan and Graham, who finished fourth in last month’s Asian U19 Beach Volleyball Championships in Roi-Et, Thailand, used their tremendous height advantage in ruling the competition.

After ruling last year’s event with different partners, Cordero and Abdilla settled for silver this time around.

In the women’s semifinal, UST’s Pagara and Progella upended Strong Group Athletics’ Gen Eslapor and Euri Eslapor, 21-17, 21-16, to forge a Final duel with NU’s Cordero and Epa. The Lady Bulldogs overcame a first set defeat to outlast Pontevedra’s Erjane Magdato and Perper Cosas, 18-21, 21-14, 15-7.

NSW Australia’s Donovan and Graham overpowered Cebu’s Samlet Booc and Micael Marabe, 21-10, 21-8, while Alas A’s Abdilla and Pareja made quick work of UST’s Aldwin Gupiteo and Dominique Gabito, 21-15, 21-11.

Magdato and Cosas later defeated the Eslapors, 28-26, 19-21, 15-13, to secure the bronze medal in the thunderstorm-delayed women’s match.

Gupiteo and Gabito reached the podium in the men’s side by sweeping Booc and Marabe, 21-13, 21-15.

Sipalay City Mayor Maria Gina Lizares attended the awarding and closing ceremonies.

In the morning session, SGA survived Far Eastern University’s Floriza Anne Papa and Melody Pons, 15-21, 21-16, 15-11, while NU eliminated UNO-R’s Edrilyn Carbajosa and Kyla Gallego, 21-16, 21-13.

UST sent Alas B’s Varga and Lerrie Francisco packing with a 19-21, 21-14, 15-11 victory while Cebu ended La Salle’s Andre Espejo and Cris Hernandez’s campaign with a 22-20, 16-21, 16-14 triumph.

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