MANILA, Philippines – Dij Rodriguez and General Eslapor became the latest Filipinos to participate in the Asian Games beach volleyball after advancing to the quarterfinals on Sunday at the Ningbo Banbianshan Beach Volleyball Center in Hangzhou, China.
Rodriguez and Eslapor eliminated Macau’s On Leng Leong and Weng Sam Law 21-15, 21-15, to triumph in their Round of 16 match.
The Philippine women’s beach volleyball duo will face Japan’s Sayaka Mizoe and Miki Ishii in the quarterfinals on Monday.
Ishii and Mizoe eliminated Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Ukolova and Alina Rachenko 21-8, 21-7, leaving them undefeated in five matches.
The Nationals will be in action in Asia for the first time since Diane Pascua and Heidi Ilustre finished in seventh place at the 2006 edition in Doha.
Newcomers Eslapor and Rodriguez, the lone holdover from the two-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist team, will have a chance to top their previous finish if they upset Japan in the quarter-finals.
Rodriguez and Eslapor, who finished second in Pool A with a 3-1 record, are the remaining national beach volleyball team in contention after the men’s team and the other women’s pair of Khylem Harl Progella and Grydelle Joanice Matibag were eliminated by Thailand in the round of 16 .
The young tandem of Progella and Matibag concluded their first appearance in Asia with a 16-21, 23-25 loss to Thailand’s Woranatchayakorn Phirachayakrailert and Charanrutwad Patcharamainaruebhorn.
Progella and Matibag finished with a 2-2 record in Pool B as the former’s performance seemed to be affected by the back pain she felt last Friday when they withdrew in their final group match against Worapeerachayakorn Kongphopsarutawadee and Taravadee Naraphornrapat from Thailand.
Meanwhile, James Buytrago and Jude Garcia made a brave stand after forcing Indonesians Ashfiya Mohammad and Bintang Akbar into a decider, but it wasn’t enough as they were eliminated with a 17-21, 21-16, 6- defeat 15 in the match. men’s round of 16.
Buytrago and Garcia, who finished with a 1-1 record in Pool A, were the only men’s team to advance to the knockout stages as Jaron Requinton and Ranran Abdilla failed to make the cut with a winless Pool B campaign, losing to Qatar and Indonesia.