By: BusinessMirror -June 8, 2018

SANTA ANA, Cagayan—Top-class volleyball action will be showcased on this progressing town’s scenic beach, as the Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) and First Cagayan present the Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) International Santa Open that spikes off Saturday (today, June 9).

Eight teams, including two from Singapore and one from Hong Kong, are seeing action in the women’s contest of the two-day event—the fourth time that the Ceza is hosting the BVR on Tour but this time with an international flavor.

The men’s division features 10 teams, including pairs from Singapore, Malaysia and South Africa.

“The CEZA, being an important node of economic development in Northern Luzon, prides itself of hosting such major sports events—part and parcel of the zone’s mission to be a successful world-class eco, leisure, tourism and sports destination,” said Secretary Raul Lambino, the Ceza administrator and chief executive officer.

The CEZA, according to Lambino, has hosted major sports events, one of them the 2018 CEZA-Eastern Hawaii National Motocross Championship, which was part of the second round of this year’s Philippine championship series of the National Motorcycle Sports and Safety Association series.

“We at CEZA envision sports as an important platform in our effort to position the zone as a growth center for the region and a magnet for investors,” Lambino added.

The event will open with appropriate ceremonies starting at 8 a.m., with First Cagayan Leisure and Resort Corp. President Francis Hernando making the welcome remarks and Santa Ana Mayor Darwin Tobias rendering an inspirational talk.

Reigning BVR women’s champions Lot Catubag and Karen Quilario of Davao will lead the Philippine charge  in the event that offers a total cash prize of $19,000.

Iloilo’s DM Demontaño and Jackie Estoquia, and Tuguegarao’s Charo Soriano and Bea Tan are also competing in the women’s division.  They are fresh off last month’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Manila Open which the country hosted for the first time.

They will face 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.

The other Filipina pairs are Far Eastern University’s MJ Ebro and Ivana Agudo, and Southwestern University’s Therese Ramas and Floremel Gutierrez.