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3 Phl beach volley teams make KO stage

Photo courtesy of Team Philippines/Facebook. 20 September 2023.

HANGZHOU, China – The country’s campaign in volleyball competitions of the 19th Asian Games shifted on the beach as the women’s and men’s teams advanced in Sunday’s knockout stage at the Ningbo Banxiangshan Beach Volleyball Centre.

The veteran pair of Dij Rodriguez and Gen Eslapor, together with Khylem Harl Progella and Joanice Matibag both clinched tickets in the quarterfinals by the end of the four-day preliminary round Friday.

The duo of of James Buytrago and Jude Garcia also did the same in the men’s side, while the other Philippine entry composed of Alnakran Abdilla and Jaron Requinton was just a win short of making it to the next round after losing its final preliminary assignment against Qatar, 21-9, 21-7.

The quarterfinals will be played on Sunday.

Rodriguez and Eslapor are up against the Macau pair of Law Weng Sam and Leong On Leng, while Progella and Matibag face Phirachayankrailert and Patcharamainaruebhorn of Thailand.

On the other hand, Buytrago and Garcia clash with Indonesia’s Mohammad Ashfiya and Bintang Akbar.

The country sending three of its four entries in the quarterfinals of beach volleyball came a day after the men’s team took an early exit in the indoor volleyball competitions.

Rodriguez and Eslapor finished second in Pool A with a 3-1 record behind top seed China (4-0), which dealt the Filipinas their only loss, 21-11, 21-5.

Meanwhile, the Progella-Matibag tandem followed suit in Pool B with an even 2-2 slate. The team was already assured of a spot in the Round-of-16 that it opted to withdraw from its match against group topnotcher Thailand (4-0) on Friday in order for Progella to rest her injured back.

Others crossing to the next round were Kazakhstan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Hong Kong, Japan, and Macau.

In men’s side, Buytrago and Garcia edged out their Maldives counterpart in securing the last quarterfinals berth in men’s Pool A which China topped.

Completing the men’s quarterfinals aside from China and the Philippines are Indonesia, Qatar, Japan, Thailand, Kazakhstan, Palestine, Iran, and Oman.

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