general luna, Siargao — Philmar Alipayo got the better of his first head-to-head duel with defending champion John Mark Tokong but both Filipino rivals cruised safely into the quarterfinals of the 26th Siargao International Surfing Cup at the Cloud 9 in Siargao Sunday.
Alipayo and Tokong finished 1-2 in the first heat of the Round of 16 to join the unheralded Robert Magaluna in the next round.
Alipayo, the 30-year-old husband of actress Andi Eigenmann, needed only three waves to score 14.55 points.
He started poorly with 4 points but recovered with 6.55 and 8 points in his next two attempts.
Surfers are allowed unlimited attempts during the 30-minute duration but only the top two scores are counted.
Tokong, 27, made his best effort on his fourth and fifth waves, earning 7.50 and 6.90 for 14.40 points.
Japanese Tenshi Iwami and Indonesian Bronson Meydi were eliminated after posting 13.95 and 12.90, respectively.
Alipayo faces top seed Kian Martin of Sweden in the first heat while Tokong takes on Japanese Yuji Nushi in the second heat.
Magaluna was the only other Filipino to reach the Last 8 after coming in second to Southeast Asian Games champion Oney Anwar in the fourth heat.
After three poor runs, Magaluna scored 6.20 and 7 points to secure a quarterfinal spot with 13.20.
Anwar, the 21-year-old who is hoping to become the first Indonesian to qualify for the elite Championship Tour, started strong with 6.75 before earning 8 in the sixth wave for 14.75 points.
Japanese Rinta Ooto and Filipino Rogelio Esquivel bowed out after earning 11.40 and 8.40 points, respectively.
Magaluna battles Japanese Joh Azuchi in the third heat while Anwar takes on Japanese Takuto Ohta in the final heat.
In women’s action, three Filipinas — Nilbie Blancada, Dianne Nogalo and Marcia Gracela Migullas — stormed into the quarterfinals.
Blancada, the 2019 SEA Games gold medalist, topped the first heat with 15.50 points, Nogalo finished second in the third heat with 7.10 points while Migullas also ended up second in the fourth heat with 6.40 points.
Blancada tests the mettle of Australian Ziggy Aloha Mackenzie in heat No. 1, Nogalo meets Japanese Sumomo Sato in heat No. 4 while Migullas tackles Japanese Anon Matsuoka in the third heat.