Velez, Madis head PPS Bukidnon chase

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Patricia Velez and Jazzelle Madis brace for a showdown in the premier girls’ side as they lead a strong field clashing in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Dangcagan leg regional age group tennis tournament at the Dangcagan beginning today (Friday, Jan. 20) in Bukidnon.

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Organizers have tapped three venues in Dangcagan, Kitatao and Kibawe to accommodate the big number of entries vying for top honors and ranking points in the Group 4 tournament kicking off the 58-leg circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

The top seeded Velez, Davao’s leading player, and No. 2 Madis, a rising star from M’lang, hope to live up the hype but both face a crack roster of challengers in the 18-and-under class, including Ma. Angelica Novis and Ilamae Manglungsod.

Madis also gains the top seeding in the 16-U division, which also features Novis, Ivy Poliquit and Cate Pon with Novis and Poliquit heading the 14-U cast along with siblings Andrea and Angela Buyante and a host of unheralded players raring to steal the thunder from the big guns in the tournament backed by new sponsor Asiatraders Corp.

“This is going to be an interesting start to our year-long circuit and we expect some surprises in both sides with so many new faces out to prove their worth,” said Palawan Pawnshop CEO/president Bobby Castro.

Heading the boys’ 18-U category are Yvu Dandasan, Ivan Malinis, John Linsagan and Mark Poliquit, while John David Velez and Linsagan are the players to beat in the 16-U side, which also includes Basser Ali, Jed Durog, Vince Dandasan and Cyrill Robeniol.

Meanwhile, Malaybalay will host the next stop on Jan. 27-30, before Butuan City and Cagayan De Oro take their turn on Feb. 2-6 and Feb 9-13, respectively, according to tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay, also the PPS-PEPP sports program development director. For details, call 0915-4046464.

For complete schedule, visit www.palawanpawnshoptennis.com.

Mangunay added that aside from the regular Philta rankings, the PPS-PEPP will have its own ranking system.

The Visayas leg of the nationwide tour, on the other hand, will have 20 age-groupers and three Open championships while the Mindanao and Luzon swings will hold 20 and 18 juniors tournaments, respectively with two Open tournaments each.

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