Alejandro Barrientos and Geanlijah Ros Sagandoy pulled off a pair of reversals to rule their respective divisions and lead the winners in the PPS-PEPP MCTA National age group tennis tournament at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque City last Monday.
The sixth-ranked Barrientos, son of former Davis Cupper Felix, strung up a series of straight-set victories to nail the boys’ 14-and-under crown, capping his romp with a 6-3, 6-0 triumph over No. 3 Keno Enriquez while the second-seeded Sagandoy rallied from a set down to repel No. 1 Kryssana Brazal, 3-6, 6-2, 10-1, and snare the girls’ 16-U diadem as they shared the MVP honors in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and Mac’s Crankit Tennis Academy.
“The series of reversals only underscored the level playing field in our circuit that has continued to produce new faces,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro after the fifth-to-last tournament in another successful season of the annual, nationwide circuit. “With another 70-leg circuit lined up next year, we expect to produce more and more talents, particularly from the countryside.”
Sharing the spotlight in the five-day event presented by Dunlop and sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines, made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg, are Leyton Portin, Sebastien Lhuillier, Joshua Diva and Roque Lim in the boys’ side and Denise Bernardo, Chelsea Roque and Airies Tanawan in the girls’ division.
The unseeded Portin produced a stirring victory in the boys’ 18-U section, beating top seed Jester Ocio, 5-3, 5-4(6) in the second round en route to pocketing the crown with a 6-3, 6-1 win over doubles partner John Rombawa; Lhuillier nipped Edgardo Angara in a tightly fought duel, hacking out a 7-5, 7-6(5) decision to snatch the 16-U title; Diva scored a 6-4, 6-1 victory over Benedict Aguilar to clinch the 12-U plum; while Lim toppled Kendrick Bona, 5-4(4), 2-4, 5-3, for the 10-unisex diadem.
Bernardo foiled Sagandoy’s two-title bid with a 6-2, 7-5 victory in the 18-U finals; Roque thwarted Nagisa Moriyuki, 4-6, 6-4, 10-4, to bag the 14-U title; while Tanawan trounced Anne Ravino, 6-4, 6-2, in a duel of unranked bets for the 12-U crown.
In doubles’ play, Rose Ann Malaluan and France Idjao also scored an 8-6 reversal over Renee Esteban and Franchezka Malaki in the girls’ 18-U finals with Portin and Rombawa claiming the boys’ title via the same scoreline; Isabelle Marasigan and Sophia Moreno routed Krisha Bolilan and Sofia Tenorio, 8-1, for the 14-U diadem and Diva and Carlo Solo took the boys’ crown, also via an 8-1 romp; while siblings Prince and Roque Lim took the 10-unisex doubles title with an 8-7(3) escape over Gavin Kraut and Joss Po.