Streaking Patrick John Tierro shoots for a third crown in as many weeks as he heads the field in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Tuna Festival Open Tennis Championship firing off today at the Gen. Santos City Tennis Club.
Tierro, fresh from his 4-6, 7-5, 7-6(5) victory over old foe Johnny Arcilla for the PCA ATF crown last Sunday, hopes to sustain his form as he clashes with wild card entry Klyde Lagarde in one of the featured matches in the elite tournament sponsored by the country’s leading pawnshop, remittance and claim center Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
But Arcilla is out to redeem himself from his twin setbacks to Tierro, including in the all-local PCA Open two weeks ago, as the top-seeded opens hi title-retention drive against another wild card Vince EJ Tugade in the event backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball.
No. 3 Fritz Verdad takes on Kenneth Salvo, fourth ranked Ronard Joven tangles with Wilfred Bentillo, No. 5 Leander Lazaro faces Jhun Alcoseba, sixth seed Deo Talatayod mixes it up with Henry Aniana in the other top matches in the men’s Open.
Top seed Clarice Patrimonio and No. 2 Khim Iglupas, meanwhile, banner the cast in the ladies singles Open with the former colliding with Ma. Angelica Novis and the latter facing off Kimberly Keethler at the start of the 16-player draw tomorrow (Wednesday).
Others in the fold are third seed Hannah Espinosa, who will take on Winona Cabardo, and No. 4 Frances Santiago, who will square off with Danna Abad.
Meanwhile, Janus Ringia and April Minette Bentillo pulled off a pair of victories in the PPS-PEPP Tuna Festival age-grouper with the former, a top junior player from Koronadal, edging top seed Tugade, 6-4, 5-7, 13-11, to snare the boys’ 18-U crown yesterday. Ringia also swept Tugade, 6-2, 6-3, in the 16-U finals.
Bentill, on the other hand, lived up to the hype and held off Tennielle Madis, 6-4, 6-4, to claim the girls’ 12-U diadem then trounced Ma. Angelica Novis, 6-3, 6-1, to pocket the 14-U title in the Group 5 event.
Davao’s rising star John David Velez also fashioned out a two-title feat, dominating Jay Balaoing, 6-0, 6-1, for the boys’ 12-U crown and whipping Andre Sing, 6-1, 6-1, in the 14-U finals.
Other winners were Tenniele Madis from M’lang (10-unisex), Carlyn Bless Guarde from Sultan Kudarat (grils’ 16-U), and Danna Abad from Davao (girls’ 18-U). Madis repulsed Reyman Saldivar Jr.m 4-5(1), 4-2, 4-0; Guarde subdued Patricia Velez, 7-5, 6-2; and Abad scored a walkover win over Guarde.
Meanwhile, the Tuna Festival is the first of three major Open tournaments on the PPS-PEPP calendar, the two others being the Pintaflores Festival Open on Oct. 31-Nov. 6 and the Dagitab Festival Open on Dec. 18-22. For details, contact Bobby Mangunay, PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director at 09154046464.