UNIVERSITY of Negros Occidental-Recoletos alums Alexa Polidario and Erjane Magdato returns to the site of their successful championship run last year as the Beach Volleyball Republic On Tour: Dumaguete Open unwraps on Friday at the Rizal Boulevard sand court in Dumaguete City.

Polidario and Magdato emerged victorious over Samaa Miyagawa of Japan and Tin Lai of Hong Kong in the Negros Oriental capital last November, the most well-attended leg in the history of the four-year old beach volleyball circuit.

A firm believer that sports is a great equalizer and unifier, Dumaguete Mayor Felipe Antonio Remollo hopes that the hosting of the BVR leg will solidify the city’s status as the sports tourism capital in the central Philippines.

Winners of two BVR legs last year, Polidario and Magdato will face tough opposition in the two-day, double-gender event.

Perlas’ Bea Tan and Dij Rodriguez are hoping to make it three in a row after their undefeated runs in the Puerto Galera and Santa Fe, Bantayan Island legs last month, while the international pair of Yuen Ting Chi and Lok Shun are also eyeing to make an impact in the 12-team field.

The NU-Boysen’s sister tandem of Roma Joy Doromal and Roma Mae Doromal, Air Force 1’s May Ann Pantino and Jozza Cabalsa, Smash Bacolod’s Bianca Lizares and Jennnifer Cosas and the University of Santo Tomas duos of Babylove Barbon and Gen Eslapor, and MJ Ebro and Derie Virtusio are the other women’s pairs to watch.

Completing the cast are University of St. La Salle’s Nohlin Jundana and Ceejay Recayo, Air Force 2’s Mikaela Andres and Angel Antipuesto, Sipalay City’s Jesalen Moises and Gelamie Villanueva, and Rizal Technological University’s Reyann Cañete and Sayrel Bermeo.

There are two international pairs in the 12-team men’s division in Chueng Chek Hong and Li Chun Kit, and Wong Ka Yun and Tse Kin Wang, as well as the host Dumaguete, which is represented by Buen Sayson and Reynald Catipay.

Air Force’s Jessie Lopez and Ranran Abdilla, who also ruled Puerto Galera and Santa Fe, Bantayan Island last month, are also vying for their third crown as in many legs this year.

Also slugging it out for the men’s championship are Visayas’ Jade Becaldo and Mike Abria. Colegio de San Agustin-Bacolod’s Marvin Haresco and Mike Anton Beronio, NU-Boysen’s James Buytrago and Pol Salvador, UST’s Efraem Dimaculangan and Rancel Varga, USLS-Bacolod’s Herold Parcia and Deanne Neil Depedro, Bacolod’s Christian Marcelino and Simon Aguillon, Gandang Laban’s Rawsa Inaudito and Nichol Jundana, Perpetual Help’s Jayjay Solamillo and John Patrick Ramos.

After Dumaguete, the BVR on Tour will hold its fifth leg in Lingayen, Pangasinan on April 30-May 1.