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Zoleta sisters plot next mission

Bambi and Bien Zoleta hand a souvenir shirt and offer their gold medals to Quezon Province Governor Helen Tan following their triumphant finish in the soft tennis competition of the 32nd SEA Games. Photo courtesy of Bien Zoleta

Soft tennis sensations Bien and Bambi Zoleta will hardly get a rest as they are set to see action in a crucial tournament in South Korea following their triumphant performance in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games two week ago in Phnom Penh.

Bien, who claimed a pair of SEA Games gold medals, told Daily Tribune that they will have no time to celebrate as they return to training at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex starting this week in preparation for the 2023 Nonghyup Bank Incheon Korea Cup International Soft Tennis Tournament from 14 to 21 June in Incheon, South Korea.

Aside from the Zoleta sisters, also set to join are men’s singles gold medalist Joseph Arcilla and Princess Catindig, who served as Bien’s partner when she cornered the gold medal in the women’s doubles event of the biennial meet.

The 34-year-old Bien said they are set to battle the best netters from the United States and Korea as well as their foes in the SEA Games in the Korean tourney that will serve as their buildup for the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou in September.

“Our training starts this week. The Korea Cup is a worldwide competition where European and American soft tennis players also compete,” said Bien, a day after joining her sister in making a courtesy call to Quezon Province Governor Helen Tan in their hometown of Lucena City.

Together with their brother, Karl, mother, Conchita, and Quezon Province Sports Coordinator Aris Mercene, Bien and Bambi presented their gold medals to Gov. Tan and made an appearance at the Sanguniang Panlalawigan headed by Vice Governor Anacleto Alcala III.

Through Mercene, the local government of Quezon vowed to support the campaign of the Zoleta sisters and help in developing young tennis players in the province.

“We’re happy that soft tennis tournaments are now back. We want to thank our local government for backing us up in our quest for glory in the SEA Games,” Bien said, adding that they will also parade some new faces in their team that will vie in Korea.

“Our new players will be leaving on 31 May or 1 June. They will train there and we will just meet them on 14 June in Incheon,” Zoleta said.

“We hope we get a podium finish because we would make it a point to bring home a medal from the tournaments we join whether it is an individual or team event.”

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