SANTA ANA, Cagayan –- Davao’s Lot Catubag and Karen Quilario led the three Filipina duos that made it to the semifinals of the Beach Volleyball Republic International Santa Ana Open Saturday here.
Catubag and Quilario, the reigning BVR women’s national champions, turned back Hong Kong’s Chan Mei Kit and Yip Wai Yan, 21-10, 21-13, and Iloilo’s DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia, 21-13, 21-19, to seize the Group B lead with a 2-0 card.
Also making it to the semis are Harbor Pilot-Cebu’s Therese Ramas and Dij Gutierrez, and Tuguegarao’s Charo Soriano and Bea Tan.
Ramas and Gutierrez made quick work of Far Eastern University’s MJ Ebro and Ivana Agudo, 21-7, 21-11, and Singapore’s Tin Lai Ng and Tan Shiang Theng, 21-15, 21-13.
Capitalizing on better wind conditions this time after a rough training Friday, Soriano and Tan overcame a close first set to beat Ng and Theng, 22-20, 21-15, before returning with a 21-14, 21-16 conquest of Ebro and Agudo.
Sporting identical 2-0 records in Group A, Soriano and Tan will face Ramas and Gutierrez for the top ranking in the semifinals Sunday morning.
The battle for the remaining semis berth boils down between Demontaño and Estoquia and Singapore Merlion’s Kelly Yuen and Huang Zihui.
After losing to Demontaño and Estoquia, 12-21, 21-15, 7-15, Yuen and Huang kept their hopes alive by topping Chan and Yip, 21-16, 21-16.
In the men’s division, Czech Republic’s Dominik Samen and Martin Samec made an statement on their title aspirations after posting two straight victories.
Samen and Samec first subdued Bacolod’s Ralph Sevillano and Simon Aguillon, 21-18, 18-21, 15-6, before posting another three-set win at the expense of Singapore’s Kam Lung Chui and Itabashi, 21-15, 16-21, 15-7.
BVR rivals Jade Becaldo and Calvin Sarte of Ato ni Bai and University of the Visayas’ Kevin Juban and Raphy Abanto shone for the Philippines.
Becaldo and Sarte, the BVR men’s titleholders, won over FEU’s Jeremiah Barrica and Kevin Hadlocon, 27-25, 25-21, while Juban and Abanto downed Chui and Itabashi, 21-17, 21-12.
The gold medal and bronze medal matches will be played Sunday afternoon.
A total of $19,000 prize is at stake in the double gender event, where the women’s and men’s champions will claim the $3,500 top prize.