• Bentillo, Velez share PPS Digos honors

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    Minette April Bentillo churned out a two-title romp while John David Velez kept his run of impressive finishes in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional tennis tournament at the Digos Tennis Club in Davao del Sur on Monday.

    Bentillo dominated fellow rising star Tenielle Madis, 6-1, 6-1, to nail the girls’ 12-and-under crown then the Sultan Kudarat find moved one notch higher and thwarted Ma. Angelica Novis, 7-5, 6-1, to emerge the lone “double” winner in the Digos stop of the country’s longest-running age-group circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

    Velez, coming off a series of victories, including in the recent Pikit leg where he took the boys’ 14- and 16-U titles, held off Earljan Casal, 6-4, 6-2, to nail the 14-U plum although the young Davaoeño ace failed to duplicate his recent feat as he dropped a 6-1, 6-3 setback to top seed Klyde Lagarde of Gen. Santos City in the 16-U finals.

    “These young bunch keep on improving, contending and even winning in higher divisions. This is what the circuit is all about, providing these kids the needed exposure and motivation to get better and better,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

    Meanwhile, action shifts to Davao del Norte starting Thursday (Oct. 6) for the Tagum City leg. For details, contact Bobby Mangunay, PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director at 0915-4046464.

    Davao’s Danna Abad and Patricia Velez, meanwhile, split the titles in a pair of thrilling duels with the former nipping the latter, 1-6, 6-3, 10-6, for the girls’ premier 18-U crown. Velez earlier pocketed the 16-U diadem with a 6-1, 4-6, 10-4 decision over Abad.

    Mlang’s Madis also kept her domination of the 10-unisex category, trouncing Jilian Manangking, 4-2, 4-0, while unranked Roddick Litang, another promising Davao find from Sta. Ana High School, bundled out three seeded rivals, the last No. 6 Andre Sing, 6-4, 6-3, to capture the boys’ 12-U title in the Group 2 tournament sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball.

    Litang, a mainstay of Flores Tennis Club, earlier eased out No. 8 Joaquin Palo, 6-1, 7-5, then upended fourth seed Herald Aton, 6-1, 6-1, to seal a title clash with Sing, who also shocked top seed JV Comendador, 6-2, 2-6, 10-2, in the semis.

    Davao’s Lordrens Pacheco likewise added the boys’ 18-U crown to his recent win in Pikit, repeating over Jefferson Alqueza, 6-3, 3-6, 10-6.

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