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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Varga, Buytrago beat Japanese, advance to semis

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RANCEL VARGA and James Buytrago kept the Philippine flag flying in the FIVB Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Futures by advancing to the semifinals with a 21-15, 26-24 victory over Japan’s Yusuke Ishijima and Kensuke Shoji on Saturday.

It was a huge double celebration for Varga, who turned 24 on Saturday and was serenaded by the crowd at the showcourt of the Nuvali Sand Courts by Ayala Land in the City of Santa Rosa.

“This is awesome, thankful for 24 years of existence,” Varga said. “Thankful for the opportunity to fight for the country.”

Buytrago, 25, was pleased to deliver for the Philippines and his old friend from Cebu.

“Blessed to win,” Buytrago said. “For flag and country, and to celebrate my friend’s birthday.”

The Filipinos march on to the last four against Toms Liepa and Ernests Puskundzis of Latvia, a pair they defeated 21-10, 22-20 in pool play.

Liepa-Puskundzis edged Tomas Semerad and Adam Miroslav Stocek of the Czech Republic, 21-18, 24-22.

Turkey’s Hasan Huseyin Mermer and Kurt Sacit defeated Germany’s Philipp Huster and Bennet Poniewaz, 21-19, 11-21, 19-17, to advance to the semifinals against Krystof Jan Oliva and Vaclav Kurka of the Czech Republic, who eliminated the other German pair of Robin Sowa and Maximilian Just, 23-21, 23-25, 15-13 in the event backed by Smart Communications, Santa Rosa City Mayor Arlene Arcillas, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, Senoh, Mikasa, Foton Motor Philippines Inc. and Seda Nuvali.

In the women’s quarterfinals, Germany’s Chenoa Christ and Anna-Lena Grüne advanced with a 21-18, 21-15 victory over New Zealand’s Katie Sadlier and Meile Rose Green.

Sadlier and Green earlier denied Gen Eslapor and Kly Orillaneda of the Philippines a spot in the last eight, 21-18, 16-21, 15-12.

Christ and Grüne play New Zealand’s other team Danielle Quigley and Olivia MacDonald, who eliminated Sweden’s Louise Månesköld and Malin Bergholm, 21-18, 21-19.

Riko Tsujimura and Takemi Nishibori defeated Harumi Sakai and Mayu Kikuchi, 18-21, 21-18, 15-13, in an all-Japan quarterfinal match and will face Alaina Chacon and Mariah Whalen of the US, who dispatched Isael’s Anita Dave and Ronni Rivka Lavie, 21-18, 21-14.


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