Sisi Rondina, Jovelyn Gonzaga win gold in Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures

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GOLD medal winners Sisi Rondina and Jovelyn Gonzaga, silver medalists Genesa Jane “Jen” Eslapor and Floremel Rodriguez and bronze medalists Miyu Sakamoto and Mayu Sawame. –PVL PHOTO

Gold medal winners Sisi Rondina and Jovelyn Gonzaga, silver medalists Genesa Jane “Jen” Eslapor and Floremel Rodriguez and bronze medalists Miyu Sakamoto and Mayu Sawame. –PVL PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–Sisi Rondina and Jovelyn Gonzaga ruled the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures after edging Jen Eslapor and Floremel Rodriguez, 22-24, 21-12, 15-12, in the women’s final at Subic Bay Sand Court.

Rondina fought through cramps but delivered the last three points to clinch the championship for her team.

“We were tired … after having gone through the competition, the pressure and the strong opposition,” said Rondina, a back-to-back Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist whose usual partner Bernadeth Pons is undergoing rehabilitation for a shoulder injury. “I could hardly jump, even during our pre-final training.”

Relief was written all over Rondina and Gonzaga who, like their finals opponents, were in a hurry to head home later Sunday.

All four had flights booked—Rondina to Cebu, Rodriguez to Negros Occidental and Espolar to Cagayan de Oro—for Sunday night at Manila’s airport in anticipation of an early exit from the tournament organized by the Philippine National Volleyball Federation (PNVF).

“Honestly, we never expected this one, all of us,” said Gonzaga, who is returning to Manila to attend to personal matters including obligations with the Philippine Army—also on Sunday night.

“No party for us,” both Rondina and Gonzaga said.

The duo gave credit to duo of Eslapor, who also struggled with cramps in the final, and Rodriguez for the tough fight.

“Credit to them [Eslapor-Rodriguez pair], they are also good and strong,” said Gonzaga

PNVF president Ramon “Tats” Suzara said the 1-2 finish in a Volleyball World event is the best performance by any Philippine team.

Rondina and Gonzaga booted out Israel’s Yahli Ashush and Anita Dave, 20-22, 21-8, 17-15, while Eslapor and Rodriguez eliminated Japan’s Miyu Sakamoto and Mayu Sawame, 16-21, 28-26, 15-13, in the semifinals played Sunday morning.

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