TENNIS

Zoleta, Lagarde bag PPS Pinamalayan MVP crowns

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Gabrielle Zoleta racked up four titles, including two in doubles, while Klyde Lagarde notched three victories as they dominated the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Pinamalayan leg regional age-group tournament at the Bahaghari Tennis Club in Mindoro on Tuesday.

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Zoleta scored a 4-1(ret.) win over top seed Tracy Llamas to add the girls’ 18-and-under crown to the 14-U plum she earlier notched via a 6-1, 6-0 romp over Julia Ignacio. The Lucena City star also teamed up with Ignacio to crush the Dana Jalbay-Minette Huerra tandem, 8-0, for the 14-U doubles plum then partnered with Lila Salvacio to upend the top-seeded pair of Llamas and Kiana de Asis, 8-5, for the 18-U diadem.

But she fell short in the 16-U singles, bowing to de Asis 6-3, 6-2, in the semis with the latter repulsing her fellow La Carlota bet Llamas, 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-6, in a thrilling finale in the Group 2 tournament hosted by Pinamalayan, Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. and held in cooperation with Butch Buenaventura.

Lagarde, meanwhile, dished out top form to overpower Angelo Mates, 6-0, 6-1, and clinch the boys’ 18-U crown, which came after he outclassed Jose Buenaventura, 6-1, 6-3, to pocket the 16-U plum in the tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger and which drew over 250 entries.

“From among the big field emerged two players – Zoleta and Lagarde, who should inspire the other youngsters for their determination and work ethic, which they can develop through participation in our year-long circuit,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Other winners were third seed Keisha Lopez, who stopped Marilag Hintay, 6-1, 6-1, for the girls’ 12-U title; unranked Jose Marie de Leon, who stunned No. 3 Nedrick Luarca, 4-2, 4-0, for the 10-unisex crown; third ranked Anya Uy, who clobbered Nicos Ison, 6-2, 6-0, for the boys’ 14-U title; and No. 2 Patrick Salvacion, who nipped top seed sibling Luis Salvacion, 1-6, 7-6(6), 10-8, for the boys’ 12-U plum.

Meanwhile, the country’s long-running age-grouper kicks off summer leg with simultaneous tournaments in the Visayas and Mindanao with the Cebu leg on April 17 to 21 in Consolacion and in Gen. Santos City on April 19 to 23.

Mactan will host the next stop on April 22 to 26 while Koronadal will hold its own tournament on April 24 to 28 before Tacloban takes its turn on April 28 to May 2 and Tagum on April 30 to May 4.

Baybay, Leyte will stage the next leg on May 3 to 7 to be followed by the Maasin stage on May 8 to 12 and the Ubay, Bohol stop on May 13 to 17 while the Sultan Kudarat leg will be held June 15 to 19.

Three summer legs will be also staged in Luzon, including at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque on May 18 to 22, at the Manila Southwoods on May 24 to 28 andin Legazpi City on May 27 to June 4. For details contact 09154046464.

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