The PPS-PEPP national junior tennis circuit got under way Monday in Bangkal, Davao City with over 300 entries disputing top honors and ranking points in eight age divisions In the biggest gathering of young talents halfway through the season.
The boys’ 14-, 16- and 18-and-under categories drew 64-player field each, while four other age categories feature 32-player casts, all eager and ready to take the spotlight in a week-long battle of power and guts in the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop at the Aqua Verde courts.
“The huge turnout further underscores the success of the PPS-PEPP program in terms of inspiring and motivating these youngsters while providing them the venue where they could hone and harness their skills and talents,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Andre Sing, Joaquino Palo, Pete Cua, Jose Palo, Gene Espinosa, Nathan Angus, Herald Aton, and RJ Saldivar banner the boys’ 18-U cast with Pete Cua also gaining the top seeding in 16-U play that includes Marco Montecillo, Inigo Barrios, Jeson Battad, Jose Palo, Ben Flores, Kurt Alcantara, and Angus.
Jose Palo, meanwhile, and Battad headline the 14-U division, which includes Alcantara, Barrios Montecillo, Zairex Madrid, Vanz Abecia, Julius Otoc and Rey Litang, while Otoc and Carl Eduarte are the marked players in the 12-U class of the event backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).
For details, contact event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
Chelsea Bernaldez and Julianna Carvajal gear up for a showdown in the girls’ 18-U play, along with Alice Suerte, Kyle Sonza, Saschena Francisco, Ayezza Dino and Maia Aton with four players, Pauline Palac, Alex Buday, Bernadeth Meri and Ana Sonza, fighting it out for the two remaining spots in the main draw in a qualifier set tomorrow.
Dhea Cua, winner of two legs in the Cotabato swing of the country’s longest talent-search, banners the 16-U side with Bernaldez earning the No. 2 seeding and Francisco and Aton poised to break the projected Cua-Bernaldez title clash.
Cua also topbills the 14-U field with Teiko Ello at No. 2 with the likes of Aika Salahuddin, Nathalie Evangelista, Daneea Sinsuat, Faith Lazaro, and Jane Palac all raring to prove their worth while Ello and Diviine Collado prime up for clash for the 12-U trophy with Faye Arce, Mae Bernaldez, Ayessa Gilbang and Palac also tipped to contend in the week-long tournament marking the resumption of the junior circuit after the Mati Open ruled by Jeson Patrombon last weekend.