THE Philippine beach volleyball team left for Thailand on Sunday to compete at the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Continental Cup.
The nationals are vying to secure a spot in the rescheduled Olympic Games in the two-day competition to be held in Nakhon Pathom province. Two slots in Tokyo — top men and women finishers — are up for grabs in the tournament, which begins on Friday.
Making up the two women’s teams are the pairs of Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons and Dij Rodriguez and Babylove Barbon. Mer Jauculan and Gen Eslapor are the reserves.
The men’s squads, meanwhile, are composed of the tandems of Jaron Requinton and James Buytrago, and Jude Garcia and Anthony Arbasto. Alternates are Ranran Abdilla and Philip Bagalay.
“We are hoping for a strong finish for our men and women beach volleyball teams in this Olympic qualifier,” said Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF) President Ramon Suzara.
He took note that “our athletes are adequately prepared for the competition,” owing to the fact that the national squad had set up training camp in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte, since last month.
In the tournament, the Philippines will face Japan, New Zealand and Sri Lanka in the women’s contest with the top two teams advancing to the final phase from June 25 to 27.
The men’s national teams will face Australia, Japan, Kazakhstan and Lebanon.
The teams will be accompanied by national coaches Paul Jan Doloiras (women) and Rhovyl Verayo (men) and PNVF board member and Beach Volleyball Commission chairperson Charo Soriano. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo