Melanie Faye Dizon and Nilo Ledama flashed top form to snare two titles each as they shared top honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Dagitab Festival regional age-group tennis tournament 2016 at the City of Naga Tennis Club in Cebu on Tuesday.
Dizon, playing out of San Beda-Taytay, overpowered Zethley Alferez, 6-1, 6-3, to clinch the girls’ 18-and-Under crown, hours after subduing a tough Elsie Abarquez in a grueling finale, 6-2, 4-6, 15-13, for the 16-U diadem.
Ledama, on the other hand, pulled through in a pair of 64-player draws, holding off Vinz Luminoque, 6-1, 6-3, to pocket the boys’ 14-U title then stunning top seed Venz Alforque, 6-1, 7-6(5), for the 16-U crown in the Group 2 event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger which drew a record more than 320 entries.
Dizon and Ledama actually came home with three titles each as they capped their impressive campaign with victories in the doubles with the former teaming up with Tracy Llamas to rout Precious Coderos and Wyn Paglinawan, 8-2, in the 18-U finals.
Ledama, one of the rising stars from Pagadian City, also partnered with Kenneth Tenepre to upend Alforque and Luminoque, 8-5, for the 14-U plum.
“The big turnout only inspires up to continue supporting and developing the sport and as we continue to discover and produce talents from this series of ranking tournaments, we have lined up a bigger circuit next year,” said Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.
Meanwhile, hostilities in the Open category are being played at presstime with top seed Clarice Patrimonio and No. 2 Khim iglupas vying for the finals against Rachelle de Guzman and Shaira Rivera, respectively, in the ladies singles and No. 1 Johnny Arcilla and second ranked PJ Tierro seeking another title duel in the men’s side against Ronard Joven and Elberto Anasta, respectively, according to PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay.
Sharing the spotlight at the close of the 45-leg nationwide age-group circuit sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger are Bliss Bayking from San Carlos City, Negros, Alexa Milliam from La Carlota, Negros, Norman Enriquez from Pardo, Cebu, Ormoc City’s Allain Ocat and Mitch Largo from Naga City.
Bayking, who had posted a number of leg victories this year, took the girls’ 14-U crown with a 6-2, 6-2 romp over Milliam, who grabbed the 12-U title with a 4-6, 6-3, 10-5 triumph over Claire Nocos.
Enriquez dominated Clyde Laquio, 6-1, 6-0, to capture the boys’ 18-U plum; Ocat upended top seed Khenz Justiniani, 6-3, 4-6, 10-4, in the semis then ripped Carl Zaragoza, 6-3, 6-3, to snatch the 12-U title; while Largo copped the 10-unisex diadem with a 4-2, 4-1 victory over Gerald Gemida.
In other doubles results, Largo and Vincent Canete overwhelmed Rey Pedros and Vinz Penalosa, 8-1, to clinch the 10-U title; Enriquez and Vhon Tudtod defeated Wyndel Deja and Kevin Pentillo, 8-2, to snare the 18-U title; and Bayking and Milliam downed Wayne Albarracin and Jesha Cervantes, 8-3, for the girls’ 14-U diadem.