By Henrick Ubay-Ubay Garcia
TOP seed Janus Ringia and Patricia Velez of Davao overcame tough, talented rivals to hack out a pair of three-setters and bag the 16-and-under crowns in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) regional tennis circuit at the Golden Friendship Tennis Club in Cagayan de Oro last April 3.
Ringia, one of Koronadal City’s top junior players, survived third seed Christian Llavore, 7-5, 7-6(5), in the semifinals then stopped No. 2 Matt Palasan, 3-6, 6-2, 0-1 (ret.) to clinch the boys’ crown while Velez upended No. 1 Gennifer Pagente, 3-6, 6-3, 10-6, to snare the girls’ title in the Group 2 event that drew a slew of aces and rising stars from Mindanao.
Ringia and Velez, however, failed to complete a twinkill in the tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger with the former yielding to Allen Manlangit, 0-5 (ret.) in the 18-U semis and the latter dropping a heartbreaking 4-6, 7-6(2), 8-10 decision to local ace Janelle Llavore.
Manlangit, from Iligan, went on to cop the crown with a 1-0 (ret.) win over Palasan then teamed up with Geo Serino to rout Joenard Vosotros and Roy Antonio, 8-1, for the boys’ 18-U doubles title.
“With no player able to win two titles only underscores the level playing field that has been the norm in all our tournaments. By providing this series of tournaments, they are able to keep in the step with the opposition in terms of form, styles and techniques,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Llavore and Pagente later nipped Angelica Novis and Velez, 8-7(5), for the girls’ 18-U doubles plum while Ruby Baulte and Novis took the 14-U doubles title with an 8-1 rout over Angela Coderos and Pherl Coderos and John Velez and Joris Pantujan claimed the boys’ 14-U doubles diadem with an 8-6 win over Bautista and John Sonsona.
Iligan’s Ruby Baulete shocked top seed Novis, 4-6, 6-1, 10-3, in the semis then stopped No. 2 Bless Coderos, 6-7(5), 6-1, 10-7, to cop the girls’ 14-U plum and share the spotlight in the event sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball.
Unranked Richard Bautista also pulled off a 6-3, 3-6, 10-2 win over top seed John David Velez of Davao to annex the boys’ 14-U crown while local bet Casey Padilla stamped her class in the 12-U side, beating Trixie Jurao, 6-0, 6-0.
John Velez made up for his setback by winning the 12-U title, crushing Ashton Villanueva, 6-0, 6-1, while Tubod, Lanao’s Kurt Bandolis snared the 10-unisex diadem with a 0-4, 5-3, 4-0 win over Miguel Iglupas.
Meanwhile, listup is ongoing for the next leg in Pinagmalayan, Mindoro, another Group 2 event set April 9-13. The hosts are offering free accommodation to all participants. For details, call Bobby Mangunay, PPS-PEPP regional age group tennis event organizer and Sports Program Development director at 0915-4046464.(henrick ubay-ubay garcia)