Sonsona, Bentillo share PPS Butuan honors

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Steven Sonsona hacked out a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Brent Cortes to pocket the boys’ 16-and-under crown while Minette Bentillo trounced Casey Padilla to capture the girls’ 14-U title in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Butuan regional age group tennis tournament at the Butuan Capitol and Luz Village Tennis Club on Monday.

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Sonsona, from Tubod, Lanao, fended off Vaughn Codilla, 7-6(3), 4-6, 10-3, in the semis then imposed his will against Cortes while Bentillo thwarted Joshea Malazarte, 6-4, 6-4, in the Final Four before dominating Padilla as they led the winners in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

Sonsona and Bentillo, from Sultan Kudarat, also came away with runner-up finishes to earn the MVP honors in the four-day event which served as the third leg of the 58-stage circuit put up by the country’s leading pawnshop and remittance center to boost the sport and help produce future national players.

“With no player scoring a twinkill only underscored the level playing field which we hope will inspire more young players to join our series of nationwide tournaments,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “Aside from providing exposure, the circuit also offers ranking points for those aspiring to become members of national pool.”

Steven Sonsona fell short against sibling Renest, 3-6, 3-6, in the 18-U finals while Bentillo also dropped a 3-6, 3-6 loss to top seed Dana Abad of Davao in the 16-U championship. The 14-year-old Bentillo also reached the semis of the 18-U division of the event backed by new sponsor Asiatraders Corp. and sanctioned by Philta.

Meanwhile, Cagayan de Oro will host the fourth leg on Feb. 9-13 at the Nazareth Tennis Club with a free clinic to be conducted by coach Patricia Concon-Puzon, a pro tennis mentor with master pro level 3 of Australia Tennis Professional Coaches Association.

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

Other winners were Sultan Kudarat’s Raicy Bentillo (10-unisex), Oroquieta City’s Nash Agustines (boys’ 12-U), John David Velez of Davao (boys’ 14-U), Kristine Bandulis of Tubod (girls’ 12-U) and Patricia Velez of Davao (girls’ 18-U).

Patricia Velez also teamed up with Angelica Novis to edge Abad and Winona Cabardo, 8-5, and cop the 18-U doubles crown with May Alejandro and Joshua Malazarte defeating Angelica Novis and Bandulis, 8-4, for the 14-U plum.

Codilla and Renest Sonsona took the 18-U title with an 8-6 decision over Ramon Bentillo and David Velez; Gustines and Brent Cortez bagged the 14-U diadem, also with a 8-6 win over David Velez and Andre Sing; while Raicy Bentillo and Jemarie Mangaran nipped Charles Carzon and James Enopia, 8-7(2) to snare the 10-U crown.

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