PH beach spikers end chase for Olympic bids

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, June 18) – The Philippine men's and women's beach volleyball teams could not get past their more experienced opponents in the 2021 AVC Continental Cup semifinals in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand, and failed to notch the lone Tokyo Olympic slot for each gender.

The women's team led by Sisi Rondina and Bernadeth Pons fell in three sets, 21-19, 10-21, 12-15, against New Zealand's Alice Zeimann and Shaunna Marie Polley in the golden match.

The Filipina spikers forced a third match after splitting their first two games.

Rondina and Pons nailed a close three-set win against the Kiwi pair of Francesca Kirwan and Olivia Macdonald, 21-12, 17-21, 15-9. The pair of Baby Love Barbon and Dij Rodriguez were swept by the Zeimann-Polley duo, 14-21, 13-21.

New Zealand will face Japan on Saturday, with the winner advancing to the final round of the Olympic qualifiers.

Meanwhile, the Philippine men's teams were disposed by Australia in their final semifinal matches.

Jaron Requinton and James Buytrago failed to win a set against Australia's Christopher Mchugh and Damien Schumann, 11-21, 15-21.

On the other hand, the pair of Jude Garcia and Anthony Arbasto Jr. forfeited their match against the Aussie tandem of Maximilian Guehrer and Zachery Schubert after Garcia suffered an injury midway in the second set.

The male beach spikers earlier won their series against Lebanon, 2-1, to face Australia in their semifinal bracket.

Requinton and Buytrago narrowly lost to the Lebanese pair of Jean Abi Chedid and Joe El Azzi, 19-21, 19-21. But the Garcia-Arbasto duo rebounded with a 21-16, 18-21, 18-16 victory over Paul Bou Akl and Salba Chafic.

Garcia and Requinton teamed up for the golden match where they prevailed against Bou Akl and El Azzi, 21-16, 21-17.

Paul Jan Doloiras and Rhovyl Verayo are the coaches of the Filipino female and male beach spikers, respectively.