Nio Tria and Bliss Bayking gear up for a tough challenge as they banner the field in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Dangcagan, Bacolod leg regional tennis tournament which gets going today at the Center Court, Panaad and Manville tennis clubs.
Over 200 entries are vying for top honors in various divisions of the event, which also stakes ranking points, with the Manila-based Tria and Bayking from San Carlos City, Negros seeking a pair of titles each in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
While he earns the top seeding in the boys’ 16-and-under class, Tria is ranked No. 3 behind top seed Karl Baran and No. 2 Lorenzo Legaspi in the premier 18-U category, which also drew the likes of Troy Llamas, Arvin Toledo, Reynan Mahusay, Vince Apostol and Bryan Bayking.
Bayking, on the other hand, is fancied in the girls’ 14-U side but is expected to have her hands full in the 16-U and 18-U classes, headlined by Tracy Llamas, Kiana de Asis and Valerie Desoyo.
“While we expect Tria and Bayking to dominate, we also see a number of reversals, this being a Group 2 tournament and a number of unranked stars raring to prove their worth and gain ranking points,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
The host has also tapped three venues to accommodate the big number of entries that has marked the circuit’s staging year-in, year-out. The event, sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball, also serves as part of the Bacolod Masskara Festival.
San Carlos City, meanwhile, will host the next stop on Oct. 27-31 for the Pintaflores Festival which will also feature the men’s and women’s Open on Oct. 31-Nov. 6. For details, contact Bobby Mangunay, PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director at 0915-4046464.
Rupert Tortal and Rewel Justiniani, meanwhile, lead the boys’ 12- and 14-U field which also includes Fernando Po, Nikhel Nowlakha, Khenz Justiniani, RJ Dejilla, Pete Rodriguez and Fern Po, while Alexa Milliam, Wendy Galanza, Arian Pecaoco and Willyn Segura are tipped to slug it out for the girls’ 12-U crown.
Keen competition is also seen in the 10-unisex with Segura, Audrey Leyson, Jovanni Dimate, Eunice Rodriguez, Jake Rodriguez, Lochela Estember, Federer Clelo and Jeck Divinagracia leading the 32-player draw.