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THE Beach Bar and Grill in Tumon was filled with beach volleyball action this past Saturday as male and female competitors in the 18-under and 21-under division kicked off the 2012 Marianas Cup Beach Volleyball Festival.
According to event organizers, action will continue next weekend in Saipan with the 20th Annual Marianas Cup Pro-Am. Pros from Japan, the United States and New Zealand will compete alongside Guam and Saipan players for big cash prizes. The weekend after will be the Marianas Kids’ Cup for players 17-under and 14-under.
The tournament was set up to have two divisions for men and women. However, due to the lack of interest from the 21-under division, the two groups were combined to make a total of 12 men’s teams and seven women’s team.
Despite being knocked into the losers bracket in their first match of the playoffs, twin brothers Zak and Zhed Zacarias emerged back to take the championship in the men’s division. The top-seeded Zacarias started their playoff match taking on Saipan’s John Nekaifes and Jordan Mariano. The twins ran into some problems early and were sent to the loser’s bracket after suffering a 23-21 defeat.
The 2nd-seeded team of Steven Rect and Luis Mesngon made quick work of their first two opponents and advanced to the winners bracket finals. Mesngon and Rect eventually squared-off against the Saipan duo and were able to secure the first spot in the finals after picking up the 21-19 win.
In the loser’s bracket, Zak and Zhed played with every intention of climbing back to the top. Taking on the Saipan duo of A.J. Aguilar and Jason Limes, the Zacarias handled their opponents 21-11 to advance to their next match against Mark Duenas and Peter Aguon.
Despite putting on a great fight, Aguon and Duenas just couldn’t take down their opponents. With only one spot left in the finals, it was a rematch from earlier in the day between the Zacarias and the team of Nekaifes and Mariano. The match between the two teams was much different than the first as Zak and Zhed cruised to a 21-10 victory to set up an all-Guam championship match.
The twins needed two wins against Rect and Mesgnon to capture the crown. With excellent defensive play and precision hitting, the Zacarias took their first match 21-12 to force an “if” game. Despite some rallies and defensive work by Mesgnon and Rect, the duo just couldn’t muster anything in the final match and succumbed to a 21-15 defeat.
In the ladies’ division, the Saipan duo of Toni Kasilyn Yamada and Charnessa Lizama captured the crown as they went the entire tournament untouched. Yamada and Lizama defeated the team of Alex McCaroll and Kristina Folta in a very entertaining final 21-16.