Local bet Elvin Joseph Geluz and De La Salle-Zobel’s Denisse Bernardo fashioned out a pair of straight-set victories to rule their respective divisions in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional tennis tournament at the Imus and Mabolo Tennis Club in Cavite yesterday.
The top-seeded Geluz drew inspiration from the home crowd and dominated No. 2 Angelo Aparte, 6-2, 6-3, to clinch the boys’ 16-and-under crown while the third-ranked Bernardo upended fancied Gab Zoleta via the same scoreline to snare the girls’ 14-U plum in the Group 5 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop with Slazenger as presentor.
Top seed Blanche Lagrisola actually posted the lone twin title romp in the four-day tournament which drew over 200 entries as the Sta. Rosa, Laguna ace trounced Cindy Nuguit, 6-2, 6-2, to nail the girls’ 16-U plum then scored a 1-0(ret.) win over Zoleta to run away with the 18-U diadem in the tournament hosted by ITC president Robert Bautista.
No. 1 Marcus del Rosario, however, clipped Geluz, 6-3, 6-2, in the semis of the 18-U side then survived unranked Marvin Marquez’s gritty stand to hack out a 7-5, 7-5 to bag the title in the premier division of the four-day weather-delayed sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association headed by president and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball.
“With three local talents emerging as winners only motivates us to host another leg in Imus, which has a wide base of tennis talents,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Another local favorite, Stefano Guria, lived up to his No. 1 ranking as he crushed Shant Nuguit, 6-0, 6-0, in the boys’ 14-U finals while Julia Ignacio from Lucena wore down Aira Nuguit, 7-5, 6-4, to pocket the girls’ 12-U crown.
Siblings Samuel and Sherwin Nuguit joined fellow Las Piñas bet del Rosario in the winners’ podium as the former overpowered the latter, 6-4, 6-0, to capture the 12-U title. Sherwin, however, stopped Ashton Arcellana, 4-1, 4-2, to nail the 10-unisex title in the event, which drew over 200 entries.
Meanwhile, preparations are under way for the PPS-PEPP Olivarez Open, a Group 1 tournament featuring the cream of the country’s tennis crop and a slew of rising stars, on Aug. 4-21 at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque. For details, call Bobby Mangunay, PPS-PEPP regional age group tennis event organizer and Sports Program Development director, at 0915-4046464.