Santiago tops PSC-Philta age-group tournament


Frances Santiago pulled off a gem of a three-setter over second seed Erika Manduriao, 7-6(8), 6-7(2), 6-4, to capture the 16 girls crown while young Jan Harold Trillanes swept two titles in the fourth PSC-Philta age group tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center yesterday.

The fourth-ranked Santiago, 13, outlasted Manduriao in a hotly-disputed opener, dropped a heart-breaker in the second set but broke her rival once in the decider to snatch victory and the crown in the Group I event sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and backed by Wilson Championship Extra Duty Balls.

It was a stirring week for the Blessed Sacrament Catholic School, QC student, who bundled out top seed Dominique Ong, 6-4, 6-2, in the semis before escaping with a thriller of a win against Manduriao to lead the winners in the five-day event held in honor of Philippine Sports commissioner Buddy Andrada.

Trillanes shared the spotlight by nailing two titles, outclassing top seed Diego Dayrit, 6-2, 6-0, in the 10-unisex finals and repulsing unranked Joseph Raymond Anida, 6-3, 1-6, 6-4, for the 12 boys diadem.

The 10-year-old Trillanes, playing out of San Antonio Elem. School in Iriga City, thus gained 400 points from his twin victories while Santiago earned 200 points from her remarkable feat.

Top seed Mikaela Vicencio played true to form and topped the 12 girls class with an empathic 6-0, 6-0 romp over No. 2 Maxine Martin while third seed Justin Suarez humbled No. 2 Manuel Balce III, 2-6, 6-4, 7-5, to pocket the 14 boys crown.

Vicencio and Santiago also moved into the finals of the 14 girls with the former shocking top seed Rafaella Villanueva, 4-6, 6-2 (10-8), and the latter earlier easing out Jackie Tan-Ho, 1-0 (ret.).

Also disputing the 18 boys plum at presstime are top seed Eric Olivarez Jr. and Jerome Romualdez with the former foiling Stefan Suarez, 4-6, 6-3 (10-5), and the latter outlasting Vincent Alanis, 4-6, 7-6(5) (10-3).


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