Santos, Billonez bag PPS MVP honors

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Sebastian Santos upstaged his fancied fellow local rivals while Franzyn Billonez lived up to the hype as they scored two singles victories each in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Puerto Princesa leg regional tennis tournament at the Puerto Princesa Tennis Club in Palawan on Monday.

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The unranked Santos stunned top seed and doubles partner Rayven Hitosis twice in three times that they faced in the finals, winning the boys’ 14- and 16-and-under titles via 6-2, 6-3 and 4-1, 0-4, 10-6 scorelines, respectively.

Hitosis averted a sweep by winning the 16-U crown in a rain-shortened finale, 4-2, 4-1.

Billonez also pocketed the girls’ 14- and 16-U plums over doubles partner Amelie Matta, 6-0, 7-3(3), and 5-4(6), 3-5, 10-3, respectively. But like Santos, she missed sweeping the three titles as Matta took the 18-U diadem with a 1-0(ret.) win.

But their two titles proved enough to net Santos and Billonez the MVP honors in the Group 2 event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger and backed by the Unified Tennis Group, led by PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.

Santos actually won three titles as he and Hitosis took the 18-U doubles plum with an 8-5 win over siblings Jerry and Jericho Ong while Billonez went home with four crowns after teaming up with Matta twice, an 8-3 victory of Steph Cornelio and Trixia Talan in the 18-U finals and an 8-0 rout of Giechelle dela Cruz and Crisha Santos in the 14-U side.

Renz Billonez, meanwhile, bagged the boys’ 12-U title with a 6-1, 6-2 upset over top seed Jaydan Perez, while No. 1 Crisha Santos crushed Aira Tindugan, 4-0, 4-0, to run away with the girls’ crown.

Khalil Cahayag, another unranked bet, completed his surprised romp in the 10-unisex side, shocking second seed Kenrick Bona, 4-1, 5-4(6) in the finals.

Meanwhile, action is expected to be fierce when the PPS-PEPP Oroquieta leg is held in Misamis Occidental on Aug. 24-28 with the field seeking ranking points for free training abroad under the UTG.

Listup is ongoing. For details, call Bobby Mangunay, the PPS-PEPP sports program development director at 0915-4046464.

James Banac and Earl Pe wrested the boys’ 14-U doubles title with an 8-5 vicotry over Andres Ubay and Renz Billonez while Daniel Gidocos and Bona claimed the 10-U doubles plum with an 8-6 win over Cahayag and Zir Lumanog.

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