Gen. Santos City ace Klyde Lagarde hopes to live up to the hype as he banners the cast in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Digos leg regional age group tennis tournament, which got under way in Davao del Sur on Thursday.
But Lagarde, one of the 10 recipients of the Macs Crankit Tennis Academy scholarship in Australia, faces a formidable set of challengers in both the boys’ 16- and 18-and-under divisions where he is the top seed and a host of talented players raring to foil his bid.
They include No. 2 Ramon Bentillo, Duke Silva, Jyle Cyrin Martinez and Ronnel Aboy in the 16-U side with Bruce Hurtado joining the hunt in the premier division of the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
April Minette Bentillo, also a member of the Aussie-bound group, gains the top seeding in the 14-U category with Angelica Novis, Jilian Manangking and Jasmen Kadalum out to foil her bid while a toss-up among Tenielle Madis,
“While the Aussie-bound players are out to impose their will, we expect others to step up,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “The circuit has produced a number of new stars and we believe a lot of talents remain untapped, especially in the provinces.”
Close to 200 entries are clashing for top honors and ranking points in the five-day tournament with Danna Abad and Jazzelle Madis tipped to dispute the 16- and 18-U titles in the girls’ side of the event backed by Asiatraders Corp. and the Unified Tennis Group, led by PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s and B-Meg.
Keen competition is also expected in the boys’ 14-U division with Cedric Pamplona, Karl Palo, Andre Sing and Andrei Padao claiming the top 4 ranking with Pamplona, Sing and Padao also vying in the 12-U side top-billed by Reyman Saldivar Jr.
Tenielle Madis also looms as the player to beat in the 10-unisex side, which also drew Joji Taketomi, Raicy Bentillo and Sawn Globasa, according to PPS-PEPP sports program development director Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 09154046464.