Jana Diaz and Kendrick Bona go all-out to double their feats in San Pablo, Laguna last week, eyeing to dominate the top two age categories in the PPS-PEPP Rep. Len Naguiat National Junior Tennis Championships beginning Thursday at the South City Homes Recreational courts in Biñan.
The duo nailed the 16-U titles and the MVP honors in the Escudero Cup with Diaz and Bona focused on adding the 18-U trophy but against a field ready and eager to foil their respective bids in the Group 1 tournament presented by Dunlop.
Diaz, from Bacoor, Cavite, actually shared the 18-U diadem with Chloe Mercado in San Pablo after rains washed out their final duel with the former facing a tough set of challengers this week, including Beatrice Panganiban, Joy Ansay, Anika Manalo, Sandra Bautista and Selina Go, among others.
The six also banner the 16-U roster that includes young Maristella Torrecampo, Ave Policarpio and Ronielle Oliveros, while Ansay and Torrecampo loom as the top contenders for the 14-U crown in the tournament serving as part of country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Torrecampo, meanwhile, is fancied to run away with the 12-U plum for the second straight week.
Bona, from Puerto Princesa, is also bracing for a big fightback from top seed Reign Maravilla, who lost to Lexious Cruz in the Escudero Cup, along with Frank and France Dilao in what promises to be a fierce battle for the boys’ 16-U championship.
Maravilla, Cruz and the Dilao siblings are also expected to crowd Bona in 18-U play headlined by Vince Serna with Kurt Balena and Antonio Ng, Jr. also hoping to pull off a surprise in the week-long event supported by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).
The boys’ 14-U title, on the other hand, will be disputed by Tristan Licayan, Gavin Kraut, Zachary Morales and Cruz, while last week’s 10-unisex winner Gabrio Serillo goes a notch higher, seeking the 12-U trophy against Escudero Cup titlist Jaekob Palaroan, Lorenzo Go and Alexandre Coyiuto.