Local tennis talents, led by Penshoppe Mari Erquita and Eric Jay Tangub, held their ground against their visiting counterparts from adjoining provinces, winning 2 of the 9 individual titles at stake at the recent Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group Championship Series leg in Molave, Zamboanga del Sur.
The netfest, which also served as the last leg for the summer, attracted 157 entries.
Maria Judy Ann Padilla from Ozamiz emerged a double winner as she ruled the girls’ 12-under age group with a straight set 6-2, 6-1 victory over another local player Nina Faye Pontines.
She then teamed up with Nicole Marie Bubutan to beat the duo of April Rose Cuizon and Shane Lyl Saluta, 8-4, for the girls’ 14-under doubles’ crown.
Erquita defeated Garlandson Ardiente, 7-6, 6-0, in the finals of the boys’ 12-under and Tangub shocked Dipolog’s Stephen Zion Guia, 6-4, 6-2, in the boys’ 16-under, 6-4, 6-2.
Four other local players, though, bowed to their opponents in other finals matches.
“This is a good sign when we see local players in an area making good against veteran visiting players as in the case of Zamboanga del Sur players, who made it to the finals in 6 of the 9 individual championship matches. It shows the province alone has a lot of young players with the potential to do well in the future,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, President/CEO of the sponsoring Cebuana Lhuillier Group that has been sponsoring this national tennis grassroots program for the past 12 years.
Neighboring Zamboanga del Norte matched the performance of Zamboanga del Sur with two individual winners as Afeah Rose Tabudlong overwhelmed Cuizon, 6-1, 6-2, in the finals of the girls’ 14-under, and Ardiente showed up Mar Kyne Solis, 4-2, 4-1, in the finals of the 10-under unisex age group of the tournament backed by Dunlop as the official ball.
Other individual champions were Oroquieta City’s Nash Agustines, who went home with the boys’ 14-under title, beating RJ Krystian Cagatan from Zamboanga del Sur, 6-3, 7-6; Shedel Aighey Gica, who took the measure of Iligan City bet 6-3, 6-4 for the girls’ 16-under crown; Pagadian’s Nilo Ledama, who beat Tangub, 7-5, 1-6, 10-3, in the finals of the boys’ 18-under and Ozamiz City’s Carmeville Gervacio, who ruled the girls’ 18-under with a 7-6, 6-4 triumph over Janmarie Anghag, also from Ozamiz.