June 23, 2023

Bianca on fire

BIANCA Lizares has been enjoying a solid season so far, her finest since joining the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour five years ago.

       With Honey Grace Cordero as her partner, the 5-foot-7 spiker from Bacolod City placed second in the Candon City leg last weekend.

       During the BVR Recharge tournament at Seafront Residences in Batangas last April, Bianca secured third place together with former college teammate Jannine Navarro.

       Having reached podium twice, Bianca hopes to finally bag a breakthrough championship when she reunites with MJ Ebro in the second leg in Sipalay City this weekend.

     Bianca and MJ were partners in the BVR Santa Ana, Cagayan bubble two years ago.

       Definitely, Bianca is relishing every moment in the sand court. In a short span of time, she become one of the country's best beach volleyball players.

       Bianca reminisced the time she first plunged in the sand that opened great opportunities for her to shine, climbing her way to the big leagues.

       "The year was 2018, I just started going to USLS–Bacolod and as part of their annual celebration, they hold the Animolympics, basically the school’s sportsfest. I played with my high school teammate and represented our college. Really, it was just to have fun and get some sweat out," said Bianca in a newspaper interview two years ago.

      "As luck would have it, it was coach Dondon Verayo who officiated the game. He who saw a potential in me and invited to play at Iloilo for the Paraw Regatta Beach Volleyball Tournament. And from there, my career blossomed as I got invited to more invitationals such as BVR on Tour on many of its legs and other beach volleyball tournaments up and around the region," she added.

    In her first-ever BVR stint in Santa Fe, Bantayan Island in March 2018, Bianca, together with Jennifer Cosas, represented Team Bacolod and achieved third place, a remarkable accomplishment considering the little amount of time she had to get familiar in the sand court.

     "After a while, I got the opportunity to play at PSL for Sta. Lucia as well. I guess that small spark that Coach Dondon saw in me turned out to be the monumental push I needed that started my career in beach volleyball. And I have been playing since then – about three years into the sport already," the 2014 Palarong Pambansa girls secondary volleyball MVP said.

     Bianca credited BVR for playing a pivotal role of putting beach volleyball on the mainstream map.  

     "It has allowed many amazing local players who, back then, didn’t have the venue to hone their craft and compete with such high level of competition. I have been in many legs and thankfully, I have had the opportunity to reach the podium and it has really helped shape me into the athlete that I am today," Bianca said on BVR.

    "I got to play with the country’s best collegiate teams, players who are clearly veterans of the game, and of course the opportunity to make friends and acquaintances, not just from within the Philippines, but with players around the world," she added.