Kylde Lagarde made the most of his Manila stint, claiming the boys’ 16-and-under crown while Mikaela Vicencio snared the girls’ 16-U plum in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age-group tennis circuit at the Brookside Hills Tennis Club in Cainta, Rizal on Friday.
Coming all the way from Gen. Santos City, Lagarde dominated Wilfred Bentillo, 6-0, 6-2, while Vicencio, one of the rising stars from Bulacan, pulled off a come-from-behind 1-6, 6-2, 10-7 victory over Miles Vitaliano as they shared top honors in the Group 2 tournament which served as the final leg of the record, nationwide 46-stage circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
Both 16, Lagarde and Vicencio, however, failed to complete a twinkill, falling short in the 18-U finals of the event sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger.
Top seed Cenon Gonzales Jr. of Ateneo foiled Lagarde, 6-2, 7-6(5), while Vitaliano got back at Vicencio with a 1-0(ret.) win in the premier division of the country’s biggest and longest-running age group circuit that also features a number of Open tournaments for the country’s elite players.
“No player actually scored two victories, further underscoring the level playing field that has been the norm of the circuit with new faces continuing to emerge from the big number of participants,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro, adding that a bigger calendar has been lined up for 2017.
Lucena City’s Gabrielle Zoleta took the girls’ 14-U diadem with a 6-3, 6-2 victory over Justine Maneja; Kaye Ann Emana from Camp Aguinaldo posted a 6-0(ret.) win over sibling Mica Emana; Miguel Vicencio, also from Bulacan, topped the boys’ 14-U class with a 6-2, 6-1 romp over Ross Perpetua; Olongapo’s Axl Lajon Gonzaga captured the boys’ 12-U title with a 6-2, 6-1 triumph over Thomas Bernardo; and Mica Emana crushed top seed Joshua Diva, 4-0, 4-0, in the 10-unisex finals.
Mica Emana also teamed up with Diva as they routed France Dilao and Frank Dilao, 8-3, to pocket the 10-U doubles plum while Rafael Liango and Miguel Vicencio copped the boys’ 14-U title with an 8-6 decision over Daniel Estanislao and Jibrill Perpeua.
Athan Arejola and Kurt Molina also subdued Ramon Bentillo and Lagarde, 8-4, to snatch the boys’ 18-U doubles crown; Melanie Dizon and Princess Catindig took the girls’ 18-U doubles title with a walkover win over Jhastine Ballado and Maneja; and Patricia Lim and Zoleta claimed the 14-U diadem.
Meanwhile, Mel Ampon, son of Filipino tennis legend Felicismo “Totoy” Ampon, resumes his four-leg clinics on Tuesday (Jan. 2) at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa. The Manila Polo Club in Forbes Park and the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig will host the last two legs on Jan. 3 and 4, respectively. For details contact 09154046464.