Venz Alforque played true to form in the boys’ 16-and-under play then upended the fancied bets in the 18-U class to bag the MVP crown in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Maasin leg regional age-group tennis tournament at the Maasin City Tennis Courts in Leyte over the weekend.
The top-seeded Alforque clobbered Ceasar Salimbangon, 6-3, 6-1, to nail the 16-U title then as No. 5 in the 18-U side, the rising star from Naga, Cebu upended second seed Troy Llamas, 6-3, 6-2, in the semis then stopped Ken Mejia, 6-2, 6-3, to complete a “double” in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
Top seeds Alexa Milliam from La Carlota and Elsie Abarquez from Carcar, Cebu matched that two-title romp with the former beating Corazon Lambonao, 6-4, 6-0, in the 12-U finals and dominating Mia Gemida, 6-2, 6-0, for the 14-U diadem to clinch the MVP title in the girls’ side.
Milliam actually bagged two more titles in doubles, teaming up with Terrilou Gazo to edge Lambonao and Gemida, 8-7(2), for the 14-U plum and then partnering with Tracy Llamas to nip Abarquez and Janzen Albino via the same scorline, 8-7, for the 18-U plum while Alforque also teamed up with Vhon Tudtod to rout Troy Llamas and JJ Gazo, 8-1, the 18-U doubles trophy.
Abarquez, on the other hand, crushed Tracy Llamas twice, scoring a 6-3, 6-0, romp for the 16-U title and fashioning out a 6-4, 6-2 win in the U-18 finals of the event, which served as part of the PPS-PEPP summer tour.
No. 1 Al Rasheed Lucman from Malaybalay, Bukidnon also lived up to his billing as he took the 10-U plum with a 4-2, 4-1 victory over Baybay leg winner Thirdy Jocson while Sal Andrei Lago and Salimbangon produced the two reversals in the event backed by Asiatraders Corp. and the new Unified tennis group, led by PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s and B-Meg.
The unranked Lago shocked top seed Alain Ocat, 6-1, 6-3, in the second round then the Sogod, Leyte find went on to whip Hans Cabellon, 6-2, 6-0, to capture the boys’ 12-U diadem.
The third seeded Salimbangon likewise foiled Ocat, 6-0, 6-4, in the semis then the Consolacion, Cebu bet trounced James Casem, 6-2, 6-0, to nail the 14-U crown.
Cymer Casem and Lago, meanwhile, blanked Jade Hermoso and Josh Orag, 8-0, for the 14-U crown, and Gio Manito and Aaron Tabura won the 10-U doubles plum with an 8-1 rout of Rhiann Dedace and Lucman.