TOP seed John David Velez posted a win and a runner-up finish while unranked Janaila Prulla topped the girls’ 14-and-under side as they shared top honors in the PPS-PEPP MAC’s Crankit Juniors tennis tournament at the PCA courts in Paco, Manila recently.
Velez stopped Andrei Lago’s giant-killing spree with a 6-4, 6-3 victory to claim the boys’ 14-U crown but the rising Davaoeño star fell short of his two-title bid, dropping a shock 1-6, 4-6 setback to unfancied Alfred Directo from Sultan Kudarat in the 16-U finals of the Group I tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala and MAC’s Crankit Foundation led by MCTA founder-coach Patricia Concon-Puzon.
Prulla, another gem of a find from Bulacan, worked her way up with victories over No. 4 Tennielle Madis, 6-2, 6-1, in the quarters, a 6-3, 4-1(ret.) win over top seed Alexa Milliam in the semis before trouncing third seed Justine Maneja, 6-1, 6-1, to snare the 14-U title in the week-long event which produced different winners in all nine age-group divisions.
“With no player scoring a double victory only underscores the level playing field from among our age-groupers. A lot of budding players are catching up with the regular campaigners through hard work and desire to excel,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Bea Acena, from Dubai, foiled Tracy Llamas, 6-3, 6-1, to capture the girls’ 18-U diadem; unseeded Minette Bentillo, also from Sultan Kudarat, took the 16-U title with a tough 3-6, 6-1, 12-10 victory over Maneja; Valenzuela’s Eah dela Torre overpowered Ma. Sophia Moreno. 6-3, 6-1, in the girls’ 12-U finals;
No. 6 Loucas Fernandez from QC outlasted Joseph Gadon in a grueling finale, 6-7(4), 7-6(8), 10-7, to clinch the boys’ 18-U crown; Makati’s Brent So thwarted JR Salangsang, 6-4, 6-2, for the 12-U diadem; and Urdaneta, Pangasinan’s John Price Lim took the 10-unisex title with a 4-2, 4-2 victory over sibling Kriz Roque Lim.
The Lims likewise bagged the 10-U doubles plum with an 8-5 decision over Kendrick Bona and Gavin Kraut. Other doubles winners in the event backed by Dunlop, Happy Pet Products, Rep. Patrick Aquino, Tan Yan Kee Foundation, Pacific Cross, Secure Storage, The Catalog Shopper, Sea King, DWIZ 882 AM, Positive Session, Silver Screen and Brohood were Fernandez-Jed Labasano (boys’ 18-U), Acena-Rafaella Villanueva (girls’ 18-U), Kaye Mustaza-Prulla (girls’ 14-U) and Velez-Geoff Asilo (boys’ 14-U).