Jilian Manangking finally nailed the elusive crown, winning the 10-unisex title then added the 12-and-under plum to emerge one of the three “double” winners in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional tennis tournament at the Tagum Tennis Club and Davao del Norte Sports Complex on Monday.
The third-ranked Manangking from Pikit, Cotabato upended second seed Reyman Saldivar Jr., 5-4(4), 4-0, in the semifinals then dominated Charles Jumawan, 4-0, 4-1, to end a two-year search for the 10-U crown in the country’s premier age-group circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
The young but fiery lass from Pikit Central Elem. School in Cotabato then kept the momentum of her breakthrough win and toppled Jonamil Prado, 7-5, 6-3, for the 12-U title in the Group 3 event which drew more than 250 entries and sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball.
“We are very thankful to the PPS-PEPP tennis program for providing our young players a circuit to play and hone their talent and skills,” said Vice Mayor Muhyryn Sultan Casi, who personally monitors the training of Pikit’s players. “Jilian’s victories proved that with the right program, training and motivation, they can beat even the best in the fold.”
Casi also cited another Pikit player Joanne Gornes who reached the finals of the girls’ 14-U side before dropping a 6-0, 6-1 loss to eventual champion Jessica Mae Carcueva.
“We’re happy and proud to have successfully staged this event in partnership with Davao del Norte. The record number of entries only showed that there is wide base of talents in the region,” said Gov. Antonio Rafael del Rosario.
Davao’s Danna Abad and John David Velez matched Manangking’s twin-title feats with the former foiling Nicole Bautista, 6-4, 6-3, in the girls’ 16-U finals before trouncing Winona Cabardo, 6-2, 6-1, for the 18-U plum.
Velez also stretched his run of victories as he copped two more titles, thwarting Earljan Casal, 6-4, 6-1, in the boys’ 14-U finals before stopping Menard Badal, 6-1, 6-4, for the 16-U diadem.
Top seed Lordrenz Pacheco survived unranked Carlos Santiago 3-6, 6-0, 10-8, to clinch the boys’ 18-U title while unseeded Gian Camingue bucked the odds to repulse Robert Nobleza, 7-5, 2-6, 10-7, and snare the 12-U crown.
Meanwhile, Dangcagan, Bukidnon will host the next stop on October 13 to 16. Listup is ongoing. For details contact 09154046464.