Mia Gemida mastered top seed Corazon Lambonao twice to emerge the lone double gold medalist in the PPS-PEPP Baybay national age-group tennis tournament at Baybay City Tennis Club in Leyte over the weekend.
Gemida surprised fellow Ormoc City bet Lambonao in the girls’ 16-and-under finals, 6-3, 6-2, then toughened up in the second set to score a repeat in the 18-U championship, 6-3, 7-5, and bag the MVP honors in the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop.
She actually finished with three titles as she later teamed up with Cassandra Laguna to rout Annah Gonzaga and Nicky Rizada, 8-2, in the 18-U doubles finals.
The young Lambonao, meantime, averted a shutout campaign by ruling the 14-U division, holding off Kimi Brodeth, 6-2, 6-4, while Jewel Velasco from Maasin City dominated the 12-U category with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Brodeth.
Nicolas Ocat from Valencia, completed the Ormor City bets’ romp in the four-day event which served as part of the nation-wide Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala age-grouper, upending No. 1 Gerald Gemida, 6-4, 6-3, in the boys’ 14-U finals.
“The PPS-PEPP circuit continues to grow (in numbers) because of these youngsters seeking to raise the level of their games and aspiring to become the country’s next superstars,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “With new, fresh faces emerging from each stop, we’re confident to produce the next batch of tennis heroes in due time.”
Top seed Cedrick Bravo from Ormoc, however, foiled Ocat’s bid for a second title, hacking out a 5-7, 6-3, 11-9 decision in the 16-U championship with unranked Cymer Casem shocking the No. 1 Bravo, 7-5, 7-5, in the 18-U finals of the event sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
Other singles winners were Baybay City’s Thirdy Jocson (boys’ 12-U), Kenzo Brodeth from Ormoc (10-unisex), while sharing top honors in doubles were Ocat and Casem (18-U), Bert Manlimus-Franz Solemne and Lambonao-Kimi Brodeth (14-U) and Christian Laguna-Kenzo Brodeth (10-unisex).
Meanwhile, action shifts to Samar for the Mayor Rolando Aquino Cup on Aug. 15-18 in Calbayog, Samar. For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.