Louise Paliwag and Matthew Morris racked up two victories apiece in varying fashions as they clinched the MVP honors in the PPS-PEPP national age-group tennis circuit at the Lacta tennis courts in Negros Occidental last Friday.

The top-seeded Paliwag survived Queen Villa, 1-4, 4-1, 10-6, in the semis then crushed Mitch Cruspero, 6-0, 6-0, to bag the girls' 14-U crown in the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop. She then held off Jasmine Jaran, 7-5, 6-1, to pocket the 16-U diadem.

Matthew Morris (left) and Shara Louise Paliwag are but two of the fresh faces to emerge from the country's longest-running talent-search. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO
Matthew Morris (left) and Shara Louise Paliwag are but two of the fresh faces to emerge from the country's longest-running talent-search. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Fellow Valencia, Negros Oriental bet Morris showed a lot of promise in his side of the battle as he survived top-seed Andrian Rodriguez tormentor Amik Serillo, 7-6(5), 6-4, to snare the boys' 12-U trophy. The unranked but talented 11-year-old netter then overwhelmed Rafa Callao, 6-2, 6-0, in the 14-U finals to post the only other two-title feat in the five-day ranking tournament put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Meanwhile, action shifts to Malabon City starting Tuesday when the PPS-PEPP Fr. Fernando Suarez Memorial Cup Open Championship is held at the Malabon Tennis Club with some of the country's leading and rising players expected to see action. For details, contact event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

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Sharing the spotlight in the La Carlota leg, which drew close to 200 entries from eight age categories, were Bacolod's Alexander Po, local ace Jufe-Ann Cocoy and Cadiz City bets Jeremy Napire and Rylie Villamejor.

Po escaped with a 4-2, 2-4, 10-2 decision over Khenz Justiniani in the semis then routed Joshua Raymundo, 6-0, 6-2, while Cocoy recovered from a sloppy first-set outing to repulse Jaran, 0-6, 6-3, 10-2, as they split the titles in the premier 18-U division of the tournament sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).

Napire, on the other hand, trampled Lorenzo Candilado, 6-4, 6-0, to pocket the boys' 16-U crow while Villamejor bagged the girls' 12-U diadem with a 6-4, 6-2 romp over Lorraine Mamebped. THE MANILA TIMES