Lingayen, Pangasinan—Bernadeth Pons proved that she’s still the queen of the sand when she powered Petron XCS to its third straight title in the Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup late Saturday at the Capitol Beach Front here.
Playing without regular partner Sisi Rondina, Pons conspired with Dij Rodriguez in dominating Jackie Estoquia and Dhannylaine Demontano of Sta. Lucia Santorini, 21-10, 21-14, in the finals to clinch the gold medal in this prestigious summer spectacle.
The high-flying Rondina failed to make it as she set her focus on leading University of Santo Tomas in Game 3 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines women’s volleyball tournament best-of-three finals also on Saturday.
Still, Pons took care of business, leading the Blaze Spikers to a strong start and an even stronger finish to dominate the Lady Realtors en route to claiming a grand slam.
“Sisi told me to defend the title,” said Pons, the former Far Eastern University star who will be reunited with Rondina in the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in Boracay later this month.
“At first, I was a little worried to have a new partner because we all know how Sisi plays. But as they say ‘worry attracts problem’ so I changed my worry into trust. I know she’s already experienced playing on sand so I trusted her and she trusted me. We trusted and helped each other to claim this victory.”
Meanwhile, Bianca Lizares and Jennifer Costas of Sta. Lucia Woodside clobbered Derie Rose Virtusio and Mary Rose Jauculan of Petron Sprint 4T, 21-16, 14-21, 17-15, to capture the bronze medal.
In the men’s play, the pair of Edmar Bonono and Ran Abdilla of Cignal smothered the tandem of Kris Guzman and Efraem Dimaculangan of Foton to clinch the gold, 21-18, 19-21, 15-13, while Jason Lindo Uy and Philip Michael Bagalay of Philippine Army crushed Joshua Mina and Joshua Pitogo of Emilio Aguinaldo College, 21-17, 21-14, in the bronze-medal match.