June 18, 2023

Orillaneda-Epa pair complete perfect BVR Candon campaign

CANDON CITY — NU's Kly Orillaneda and Kathrina Epa pulled off a thrilling 21-17, 17-21, 15-11 victory over Bacolod's Bianca Lizares and Honey Grace Cordero to capture the women's crown via six-match sweep in the Beach Volleyball Republic on Tour Candon City leg Sunday at Darapidap Beach here.

        It was Orillaneda and Epa's first BVR on Tour crown as a pair, but not without surviving a tough stand by Lizares and Cordero.

      After yielding the opening set, Bacolod raced to a 14-7 second set lead and never looked back to force a decider.

       Bacolod took a 9-6 third set advantage after a Cordero kill and NU stormed back and grabbed a 11-10 lead after Lizares was whistled with a double contact violation.

      Lizares' hit forced the match's last deadlock at 11-11, when Epa's back-to-back kills opened NU's 4-0 finishing run.   Orillaneda's loop shot put her team at match point and Epa delivered the championship-sealing kill.

       The wait is over for Orillaneda, whose previous best finish was in the 2018 December Open when she and Roma Joy Doromal placed second behind Dzi Gervacio and Bea Tan, and so is Epa, who debuted in the tour in 2019.

       On their way to the championship, Orillaneda and Epa swept Pool c made short work of Ateneo 1's Gena Hora and Yumi Furukawa, 21-17, 21-13, in the quarterfinals and Ateneo 2's Jana Cane and Liz Lomocso, 21-17, 21-13, in the semis of the tour backed by Sunplay, Pocari Sweat, Converge and the City Government of Candon.

       Despite the Finals loss, the second place was the best finish for Lizares, the 5-foot-7 BVR regular who started competing in the tour in the Santa Fe, Bantayan Island in March 2018 with Jennifer Cosas as her partner. Cordero, on the other hand, is a BVR on Tour debutant.

      West V's Tan and Cosas defeated Ateneo 2's Cane and Lomocso, 21-14, 21-19, to secure the bronze medal, and rebound from a 11-21, 21-17, 10-15 semis loss to Bacolod's Lizares and Cordero.    

       Candon City Mayor Eric Singson is happy on the turnout being a first-time BVR on Tour hosts.

      "We are ready to host Beach Volleyball Republic in the future," said Singson during the awards ceremony.