Anthony Arbastro and Calvin Sarte of Generika-Ayala delivered a strong finishing kick to its magical campaign when they crushed EJ Ramos and Edmar Bonono of Cignal HD, 21-17, 21-18, to conquer the men’s division crown of the 2017 Belo Philippine Superliga (PSL) Beach Volleyball Challenge Cup yesterday at the SM By the Bay in Mall of Asia.
Playing together for the first time, Arbastro and Sarte hardly showed traces of unfamiliarity as they completed a seven-game sweep to claim the title of this prestigious tourney backed by Stoked, Mikasa, Mizuno, Senoh, Rebisco and SM By the Bay with TV5 as official broadcaster.
Meanwhile, Mike Abria and Edwin Tolentino of SM By the Bay settled for the 3rd place following a 21-19, 23-21 demolition of Rey and Relan Taneo of Perpetual Help in the classification round.
Reigning champion Jovelyn Gonzaga and Maica Morada of Cignal HD A were also victorious, prevailing over Mylene Paat and Janine Marciano of Cignal HD B, 21-15, 26-28, 15-11, to cop the 5th place while Bianca Tripoli and Marijo Medalla of Perpetual claimed the 7th place with a 21-13, 21-19 win over Wensh Tiu and Abie Naval of Cocolife in other classification battle.
Still, the day belonged to Arbastro and Sarte.
A Sports and Wellness Management major at University of Santo Tomas and reigning UAAP beach volleyball champion, Arbastro displayed his flawless form at the net early on while Sarte took charge of the defense.
Generika-Ayala trailed in the crucial stretch of the first set 14-17 but their airtight floor defense did wonders, making it difficult for Cignal HD to penetrate.
“They (Cignal) were ahead in the first set but we didn’t panic. We just played good defense and enjoyed the game to make it a fund game,” said Arbastro whose original partner Kris Roy Guzman dropped out of the tourney at the last-minute to attend to his academic commitment at UST.
Sarte, a Marketing Management major at Holy Cross University said their lack of training hardly affected their performance.
“We trained only for three days prior this tournament,” he said. “Since I came from Davao, we didn’t have much time to work together. Fortunately, we got this win.”