John David Velez of Davao and Mica Ella Emana of Quezon City nailed two victories each as they shared top honors in the PPS Valenzuela leg regional age-group tennis at the Valenzuela City Sports Club on Monday.
Velez fended off Loucas Fernandez’s strong challenge, eking out a tough 7-5, 6-4 decision to claim the boys’ 16-and-under crown following a lopsided 6-1, 6-2 romp over Andre Jarata in the 14-U finals of the Group 2 tournament.
The 12-year-old Emana, on the other hand, upended top seed Francine Dizon, 6-1, 6-3, to rule her age-group then stunned No. 3 Kyla, 6-0, 6-2, as an unranked player in the 14-U division to clinch the MVP titles with Velez.
Top seed Manuel Balce III, a former member of the national Davis Cup junior squad, foiled Velez’s three-peat bid with a 6-2, 6-3 triumph in the 18-U finals after the Grade 12 Ateneo student topped a tryout and earned an athletic scholarship at the Eastern Washington University starting next year.
Emana actually finished with three titles, teaming up with Miles Vitaliano to beat Bianca Bolima and Kyla Poon, 8-3, in the girls’ 18-U doubles finals.
Bulacan’s Mikaela Vicencio also pulled off a pair of thrilling victories,
edging Miles Vitaliano twice, 7-6(3), 2-6, 10-4, for the girls’ 16-U title and 7-5, 5-7, 10-8 for the 18-U plum.
Other winners in the five-day event capping the four-leg Northern swing were France Vhiel Dilao from Sta. Rosa, Laguna (10-U), Lance Fernandez from QC (12-U), France Dilao-Frankie Dilao (10-U doubles), Patrick Ferrer-RC Velandres; Francine Dizon and Shaira Silva (14-U doubles); and Athan Arejola-Chester Tiongson (boys’ 18-U doubles).