A full-packed field gears up for a fierce battle in various divisions as the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age-group tennis tournament holds the Maasin, Leyte leg beginning today (Wednesday, May 25) at the Maasin City and Capitol Tennis Club.
Organizers have actually tapped additional venues to accommodate the close to 300 participants with the boys’ 14-, 16- and 18-and-under categories featuring full roster of 64 players each, underscoring the tremendous response of the top players and upcoming stars in the region and from nearby provinces.
Rewel Justiniani, Marcus del Rosario, Norman Enriquez, Reynan Mahusay, Paolo Loreto, Kevin Pantillo, Chyme Arradaza and Francis Hidalgo of Cebu banner the 18-U side while Francis Hidalgo, Del Rosario, Venz Alforque and Justiniani take the top four seedings, respectively, in the 16-U section of the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
“We are overwhelmed by the big turnout which only inspires us to continue promoting and developing the sport and at the same time help in discovering future national players,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Other venues tapped are the Semenary, Capitol, Makron and Ichon tennis courts.
Alforque, meanwhile, gets the top ranking in the 14-U division with Surigao’s Ruperto Tortal at No. 2 followed by brothers Rewel and Khenz Justiniani from La Carlota, John Coderos, Eron Garces, Eric Longakit and Kyle Gacutno.
La Carlota’s Tracy Llamas, meanwhile, banners the girls’ 16- and 18-U classes while San Carlos City’s Bliss Bayking guns for another golden double in the 14- and 16-U sides after dominating the field in Bohol and Dumaguete.
Alexa Milliam, another rising star from La Carlota, shoots for another title in the girls’ 12-U that also features Aaliyah Badalan, Corazon Lambonao and Aaesha Bandalan while Cebu’s Chad Connor seeks another victory in the 10-unisex class of the event backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusive distributor of Slazenger, and sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association headed by president and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
Other Cebuano players to watch are Norman Enriquez, Zethley Alferez, Shyne Villareal and Bless Coderos while Gia Cari and Joshua Torres spearhead the campaign of the Baybay City bets with 12-year-old Alain Ocat from Ormoc City out to spring a surprise in the boys’ 12- and 14-and-U divisions.