A slew of rising stars gear up for a spirited battle for top honors against the regular campaigners as they clash in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Malaybalay regional age group tennis tournament at the DPWH and Freedom Park Tennis Club in Bukidnon today (Friday, Jan. 27).
Arnie Joy Diaz and Joanne Gornes headline the girls’ 18-and-under cast that includes Gianne Saavedra and Christine Gumilao, each raring to chalk up not only a win but also ranking points in this Group 4 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
“We’re inviting all tennis players and fans in Bukidnon areas to watch and support the PPS-PEPP Malaybalay leg, which features not only our young, upcoming stars but also the leading players in the region,” said Mayor Inaki Zubiri, who also cited PPS-PEPP’s continuing effort to develop and promote the sport through a nationwide circuit.
Close to 200 entries are vying in the four-day tournament serving as the second leg of the 58-stage nationwide tour put up by the country’s leading pawnshop and remittance center to boost the sport and help produce future national players.
“By holding this nationwide circuit, we believe we are able to help develop the sport and discover talents, especially from the countryside,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/COO Bobby Castro.
Gornes and Diaz also lead the 16-U field along with Ivy Poliquit and Cate Pon while Jillian Manangking and Casey Padilla headline the cast in the 12- and 14-U categories of the event backed by new sponsor Asiatraders Corp. and sanctioned by Philta.
Keen competition is also seen in the boys’ side with Yvu Dandasan, Mark Malinis Peterson Linsagan and Kyle Tabuco tipped to slug it out in the 18-U section with Linsagan bannering the field in 16-U play along with Jerome Lacanaria, Aaron Duhaylungsod and Jed Durog.
Meanwhile, Butuan City will host the third leg on Feb . 3-7 with Cagayan de Oro staging the next stop on Feb. 9-13. Listup is ongoing, according to Bobby Mangunay, also the PPS-PEPP sports program development director. For details, call 0915-4046464.
John Linsagan, Joross Manangking, Karl Palo and Lacanaria will be the players to watch in the 14-U side while Reyman Saldviar Jr., Dominic Gabica, Kyle Robeniol and Michael Buyante lead the 12-U category and Jasmen Kadalum, Ivory Malinis, Vai Dandasan and Rasheed Lucman dispute the 10-unisex diadem.