• TENNIS

    Jucutan, Jarata claim PPS Southwoods honors

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    Exequiel Jucutan flashed top form and captured two titles while Marielle Alexie Jarata posted a win and a runner-up finish in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Southwoods leg regional age-group tennis tournament at the Southwoods tennis courts in Carmona, Cavite on Thursday.

    The fourth-ranked Jucutan, 12, dropped just two games in three matches to reach the finals of his age-division then stunned No. 2 Marc Jarata, 6-2, 6-3, to snare the crown. The rising star from Pangasinan later re-asserted his mastery over the top-seeded Jarata, scoring a 6-0, 6-2, romp in the 14-U finals to complete a “double” in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

    The No. 2 Marielle Jarata, on the other hand, upended the top seeded Kean Enriquez, 5-4(5), 4-1, to nail the 10-unisex diadem but failed to match Jucutan’s two-title feat after bowing to Francine Dizon of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, 0-6, 2-6, in the girls’ 12-U championship.

    Marielle Jarata, however, shared the MVP plum with Jucutan as they emerged the top performers in the week-long event backed by Asiatraders Corp. and the new Unified tennis group, led by PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s and B-Meg.

    “The reversals, not to mention the winners from different cities and provinces, only underscored the level playing field with a number of players gaining ground through hard work and determination,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

    No. 2 Bettina Bautista of Quezon City and top seed Joma Pague from Zamboanga, Sibugay ruled the premier division with the former overpowering Denise Bernardo, 6-0, 6-2, for the girls’ 18-U crown and the latter crushing Laurenz Quitara, 6-2, 6-3, in the boys’ finals.

    Other winners were EJ Geluz from Imus, Cavite, Gabby Sandejas from Alabang and Franzyn Billiones from Puerto Princesa.

    Geluz upset No. 1 Laurenz Quitara, 6-3, 7-5, while Sandejas repelled Bea de Ocampo, 2-6, 6-3, 10-4, as they shared the 16-U crowns, while Billones foiled Elise Geluz, 6-0, 6-3, to annex the girls’ 14-U title in the week-long event which drew over 200 netters from Cavite and nearly towns and cities.

    The doubles winners were EJ Geluz-Joma Pague (boys’ 18-U), Bettina Bautista-Denise Bernardo (girls’ 18-U), Jester Ocio-Keno Enriquez (boys’ 14-U), Francyn Billones-Shaira Silva (girls’ 14-U) and Kean Enriquez-Lance Maglaqui (10-unisex).

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