By: – June 09, 2018

Tuguegarao’s Charo Soriano and Bea Tan lead the 5 Philippine pairs in the women’s division

SANTA ANA, Cagayan – Local and international players brace for windy conditions as the Beach Volleyball Republic International Santa Ana Open gets going Saturday, June 9, here.

Tuguegarao’s Charo Soriano and Bea Tan hope to adapt to the weather conditions at the start of the pool play at 7 a.m. But more than anything, Soriano said she’s looking forward to play in her home province.

“It’s always nice coming back here in Cagayan, in my province. I look forward to playing with some of the best beach volleyball players in the Philippines and also foreign participants from Singapore and Hongkong,” said Soriano.

Aside from Soriano and Tan, the Philippines will be represented by reigning BVR women’s champions Lot Catubag and Karen Quilario of Davao, and Iloilo’s DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia.

The 3 pairs are coming off a stint in last month’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open, which the country hosted for the first time.

They face stiff competition from Singapore’s Kelly Sim Son Shwu Yuen and Huang Zihui, and Tin Lai Ng and Tan Shiang Theng, as well as Hong Kong’s Chen Mei Kit and Yip Wai Yan.

Other Filipinas competing are Far Eastern University’s MJ Ebro and Ivana Agudo, and Cebu’s Therese Ramas and Dij Gutierrez.

Two other Singapore pairs and a Hong Kong duo also shoot for the crown in the 8-team women’s field, while squads from Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa slug it out in the 10-team men’s competition.

Participants of the tournament presented by CEZA and First Cagayan are vying for the $3,500 top prize. A total prize of $19,000 is at stake in the event.

The top two teams from each bracket in the women’s and men’s division will advance to the semifinals.

In the men’s division, BVR titleholders Jade Becaldo and Calvin Sarte of Ato ni Bai spearhead the hosts’ campaign along with Kevin Juban and Raphy Abanto of University of Visayas, and Bryan Bagunas and James Natividad of UAAP kings National University.

This is the 4th time that BVR headed to the scenic Santa Ana town in the northernmost part of the country and the league’s second time to host an international beach volleyball event. –