Sixteen of the country’s leading and rising junior netters slug it out for the men’s singles crown in the PPS-PEPP Mayor Nikko Mercado Open Championship while close to 200 entries vie in the MCF Global national age-group which get going today at the Maasin Lawn Tennis Club in Leyte.
Cebuanos Joshua Kinaadman and Norman Enriquez gain the top seeding in the centerpiece men’s singles held as part of the city’s 19th Charter Day celebrations. The cast also features the likes of John David Velez, Vinz Lominoque, Gerald Jumadas, Mikel dela Cruz, Francis Hidalgo, Austin delos Santos, Andre Laguda, Ashton Villanueva, Chris Encarnacion, Vinz Alforque, Sal Lago, Elmer Alila, Fritz Tabura and Miles Sotes.
Velez, Alforque and Lominoque also banner the boys’ 18-and-under field in the age-grouper sponsored by the MAC’s Crankit Foundation headed by coach Patricia Concon-Puzon which also serves as the second of fourth MCF-backed tournaments after Davao. San Carlos City, Negros Occidental and Iloilo will host the last two stops.
“We take pride in putting up this big gathering of junior players from Ozamiz, La Salle-Lipa, Ormoc, Cebu, San Carlos, Tacloban and Baybay City and we thank Maasin City Mayor Mercado and MAC’s Crankit Foundation for their continued support of our tennis program,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro, under whose aegis this event is being staged in partnership with Dunlop.
Velez, Villanueva along with Judy Ann Padilla and Angel Denopol make up the squad from Ozamiz while Gabby Zoleta, Julia Ignacio, Sophia Moreno, France Idjao, Dwyne Faelnar and Lago head the bets from La Salle-Lipa.
Joining Kinaadman and Enriquez in the talent-laden Cebu side are Alforque, Lominoque, Gio Manito, Aron Tabura, David Sepulveda and Jonathan Largo, all eyeing a crack at the crown in their respective age-group categories of the event sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
Meanwhile, the President’s Cup will be held next on Aug. 8-11 in Baybay City, also in Leyte. Listup is ongoing. For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
Also on tap are the Mayor Rolando Aquino Cup on Aug. 15-18 in Calbayog City, Samar, the two-weekend Kadayawan Festival Open on Aug. 10-11 and Aug. 17-18 in Davao City and the Cotabato Tennis Society age-group on Aug. 22-25 in Cotabato City.