Close to 200 entries fight it out for top honors and ranking points in nine singles categories as the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala tennis tournament winds up its four-leg Northern swing in Valenzuela City.
Five titles are also up for grabs in doubles play with new faces likely to emerge from the five-day Group 2 tournament, which got under way on Thursday and hosted by the Valenzuela City Sports Club through chairman Elly Demafelis for the first time.
Francesca Cruz, from the Valle Verde Country Club, and Paula Uy from Quezon City banner the girls’ 18-and-under cast with the duo also seeing action in the 16-U side topbilled by Mikaela Vicencio and Miles Vitaliano while Manuel Balce III, Athan Arejola, Jules Lazaro and Chester Tiongson gaining the top four seedings in the boys’ premier category of the event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
Davao’s John David Velez, on the other hand, looms as the player to beat in the boys’ 16-U side that also includes Arejola, Daniel Estanislao III and Loucas Fernandez with Velez also claiming the top ranking in the 14-U section that also drew the participation of Andre Jarata, Miguel Vicencio and Rafael Liangco.
Francine Dizon, Renee Esteban, Kyla Poon and Franchezka Malaki, meanwhile, headline the girls’ 14-U category with Dizon also leading the 12-U division of the event supported by the Unified Tennis Philippines, including PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
Meanwhile, action in the country’s longest talent-search shifts to Cebu next week with Argao leg on Dec. 7-11 while Naga City, Cebu will host the next stop on Dec. 14-18 followed by the PPS-PEPP Dagitab Festival on Dec. 16-21, according to PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director and organizer Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 0915-4046464.
Brent So, Lance Fernandez, Jagat Sachdeva and Joshua Diva are expected to slug it out for the boys’ 12-U crown while siblings Frank and France Dilao are tipped to dispute the 10-unisex title with Shervin Deonaire and Jasmine Malarayap among others.