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Soriano 'humbled' by FIVB beach volley world tour success

Beach Volleyball Republic (BVR) co-founder Charo Soriano expressed happiness following the success of the first-ever Philippine leg of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour over the weekend.

"I'm very much humbled and very happy. It was very fulfilling to see the number of people watching and the amount of support that we are getting for beach volleyball -- not only for the Philippine team but even for other athletes as well," said Soriano, who starred in the college and the pro volleyball ranks before helping establish BVR.

She also lauded the Filipino pairs that put up a fight in the four-day event held at Sands SM By the Bay in Pasay City despite the lack of a national team program for beach volleyball.

"It's a very momentous event, this one, first, because a lot of the Philippine teams really didn't have programs prior to this event. We have BVR, we have regional tours, we have national championships. But in terms of having a proper national training pool program, it's still non-existent. But despite that, we were able to garner wins in the first-ever FIVB tournament that we are entering as national team," Soriano added.

Soriano participated in the games, teaming up with Bea Tan to form one of four Philippine teams in the women's division.

However, it was their fellow BVR co-founder, Dzi Gervacio, who had a deep run in the tournament, making the quarterfinal round with Sisi Rondina.

Reigning BVR national champions Karen Quilario and Lot Catubag, on the other hand, came close to joining the Gervacio-Rondina tandem in the Final 8.

Soriano also gave an ode to the male sides despite getting the early boots.

"Even though our men's teams didn't really win, you can really see that they were competent. They were competitive," she further said.

Soriano then bared the purpose of the event, saying, "We just need the proper support and of course, continuous programs in time for SEA Games next year. That's really the goal and that's why we wanted to push for an international tournament as well in preparation for next year's SEA Games."

With the success of the event, Soriano vowed, "For sure, it won't be the last."

Ivan Stewart Saldajeno / PNA