Infinity B, SM arrange title showdown in Superliga tilt.
Champion Infinity B and SM by the Bay A ousted their respective rivals to arrange a titular showdown in the men's division of the Philippine Superliga Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup at the Sands by the Bay in SM Mall of Asia.
Marjun Alingasa and Tippy Tipgos of Champion Infinity B rose from a close first-set stumble, survived a tough second set then outlasted Cignal HD Spikers A's Sandy Montero and Edmar Bonono, 21-23, 22-20, 15-10.
SM, on the other hand, had a far easier time in gaining the finals --- a straight set victory fashioned by Jade Becaldo and Hachaliah Gilbuena over Centerstage's Rence Melgar and John Carlo Lozada, 21-13, 21-16.
Alingasa and Tipgos rose from a 0-7 deficit to 15-20 before following it up with five straight points to tie it at 20-all.
Both pairs remained tough and traded points for 21-all, but a service ace from Montero and a drop shot from Bonono gave Cignal the first-set win.
Champion and Cignal both intensified their assaults in the second frame, but Alingasa and Tipgos were more aggressive on their attacks in the third set where they led 4-1 and never looked back since then.
"Pinagtiyagaan lang po namin," said the 23-year-old Alingasa, who won back-to-back beach volleyball crowns for College of St. Benilde in 2013 and 2014.
As expected, former PH team members Becaldo and Gilbuena cruised into the next phase with nary a trouble, dominating most parts of the match.
In other results, Cignal HD Spikers B's Emmanuel Luces and Jay Dela Cruz claimed the fifth spot after surviving Champion Infinity A's Angelo Espiritu and Nestor Molate, 21-17, 15-21, 16-14; Instituto Estetico Manila's Michael Conde and Ian Dela Calzada routed Perpetual Molino A's Fernando Alburo and Ronel Del Mundo for seventh place; and Perpetual Molino B's Emmanuel Gamat and Paolo Alona winning by default over SM by the Bay B's Tim and Daniel Young.
In women's play, Cignal HD Spikers B and Foton Hurricane stormed into the semifinals after besting their respective foes.
April Hingpit and Wensh Tiu of Cignal B swept Meralco's Jem Gutierrez and Jusabelle Brillo, 21-14, 21-18, while the Foton Hurricane tandem of Bea Tan and Pau Soriano bested the fancied pair Gretchen Ho and Charo Soriano of Petron XCS, 21-12, 19-21, 15-7.