by Kristel Satumbaga
Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons fell short in their quarterfinals match on Saturday in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open at the White House Beach sandcourt in Aklan.
The local tandem yielded to the Japanese pair of Sakurako Fujii and Minori Kumada, 21-17, 21-19, to end the country’s campaign following the defeat of fellow PH duo Bea Tan and Dij Rodriguez to Asian U21 winners Pawarun Chanthawichai and Thatsarida Singchuea of Thailand, 21-12, 21-12, in the Round of 12.
Despite the loss, Rondina and Pons matched the country’s best effort of a fifth place finish in the Manila Open 1-star event also courtesy of Rondina with former partner Dzi Gervacio last year.
Rondina and Pons stunned Japanese pair Shinako Tanaka and Miyuki Matsumara, 21-14, 21-8, but lost to another Japanese tandem in Satono Ishitsubo and Asami Shiba, 21-6, 21-19, in the group stage.
Still, Rondina and Pons advanced in the Round of 12 due to a superior quotient in Pool D, and resumed their campaign with an impressive 21-18, 21-6 triumph over Russia’s Ekaterina Filina and Ekaterina Zazhinga for a spot in the quarterfinals.
Then came Fujii and Kumada, who halted their strong campaign.
Fujii and Kumada currently battle for the crown against compatriots Ishitsubo and Shiba after the former survived Slovenia’s Tjasa Kotnik and Tjasa Jancar, 21-15, 18-21, 19-17.
Isbitsubo and Shiba, for their part, downed Australians Brittany Kendall and Stefanie Weiler, 21-19, 21-17, in the other semifinal pairing.