Tracy Llamas and Alexa Milliam try to live up to the hype as they seek victories in two divisions in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Iloilo regional tennis tournament, which got under way on Friday at the Ultra Tennis Club.
Llamas is the top seed in the girls’ 16- and 18-and-under classes but the La Carlota star expects a tough outing against the likes of Averille Sacapano, Kiana De Asis and Avril Suace in this Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop headed by president and CEO Bobby Castro and presented by Slazenger.
The 12-year-old Milliam, on the other hand, is the player to beat in her age group with the other La Carlota ace also out to claim the 14-U title against Suace, Abigail Sacapano and Ann Cocoy.
A wide-open race, however, is seen in the 10-unisex side of the fifth leg of the 58-stage circuit backed by new sponsor Asiatraders Corp. with Giovani Dimate, Derrick Guillano, Feonne Suace and Louchela Estember headlining the cast.
“After a series of events in Mindanao to kick off this year’s circuit, the chase for top honors and ranking points shifts to Visayas with the region’s leading and rising players taking center stage for the next four weeks,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Karl Baran, Lorenzo Legaspi, Matthew Flores and Alfrancis Andrade banner the boys’ 18-U cast while Troy Llamas, Jann Guillano, Nikhel Nowlakha and Chrysler Gazo Jr. are the players’ to beat in the 16-U side of the event, the first of four legs in the Visayas as in many weeks.
Keen competition is also seen in the boys’ 14-U section with Nikhel Nowlakha, Khenz Justiniani, Jann Guillano and Pete Rodriguez leading the cast and in the 12-U class headed by Justiniani, Kerwin De Asis, Benedict Santiago and Aiz Pacheco.
Meanwhile, the three-day Tennis Teachers/Coaches Conference and free clinic that drew a huge field in Cagayan de Oro recently will also be held in Gen. Santos City on April 19-25 held in cooperation with the Macs Crankit Tennis Academy of Australia (MCTA) and the National Tennis Coaches Association of the Philippines (NTCAP). For details, contact 09154046464.