The Big City’s top and rising junior players take the spotlight as they slug it out for top honors and ranking points in the PPS-PEPP Philam national age group 2019 which unfolds on Thursday at the Philam Tennis Club in Quezon City.
Justine Manela, Kryshana Brazal and Kaye Emana set out for a fierce showdown in the girls’ premier 18-and-under division with the first two also bannering the big 32-player 16-U draw with Mica Emana and Melody Dizon.
Over 250 entries are listed in this top-ranking tournament presented by Dunlop and serving as part of the country’s premier talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro with Miguel Castillo and Juan Pablo Gonzaga headlining the boys’ centerpiece event.
Thomas Bernardo and Lance Fernandez, on the other hand, gained the top two seeds in the 16-U play of the five-day tournament with John Prince Lim, Frank Dilao, Kurt Balena and Darwin Cosca expected to crowd top two seeds Joshua Diva and France Dilao for the 14-U diadem.
To accommodate the big number of entries in the boys’ 14-U, organizers will hold a one-day qualifier for three berths in the main draw of the tournament sanctioned by Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
Marielle Jarata, Mica Emana, Dizon and Carrilyn Pesengco lead the girls’ 14-U cast while Abegail Ansay, Pesengco, Christina Reyes and Jayden Ballado are fancied to dispute the girls 12-U plum with Prince Lim and Frank Dilao also eyeing to fight it out in the boys’ side.
Action in the circuit, meanwhile, shifts to the Visayas next week for the Lapu Lapu City Juniors Group I tournament on Dec. 6-10 in Cebu with the next stop in Naga, Cebu for the Dagitab Festival on Dec. 14-21. For details, contact PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.