Judy Ann Padilla sets out for another two-title romp while Sydney Enriquez seeks to dominate the premier side in the PPS-PEPP Mayor Labadlabad National age-group tournament, which got going Saturday at the Sindangan Tennis Courts in Sindangan, Zamboanga del Norte.
Padilla, 14, trampled her rivals with superb all-around game to fashion out a pair of straight-set victories, including in the 16-and-under division of the Group 2 tournament in Ozamiz City last week, making the rising Ozamiz City star the top bet in the second leg of the Mindanao swing of the country’s longest-running talent-search.
She is also entered in the 18-U section but from where she will have her hands full against a slew of older, talented rivals, led the fancied local star Enriquez, who is tipped to roll to another victory the way she did in Ozamiz.
Tukuran, Zambo del Sur’s Eric Tangub, meanwhile, braces for a fierce challenge in the boys’ centerpiece division, drawing tough rivals in Al Dree Pan, Russel Daarol and Brent Cortez, the last two also headlining the 16-U cast that includes Chris Sonsona and Neo Maratas from Dipolog City.
Maratas, on the other hand, gains the top seeding in the 14-U class with Penshoppe Erquita, Andre Omos and Miggy Omos also expected to contend for the crown in the five-day event put up by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala headed by president/CEO Bobby Castro and sponsored by Mayor Rosendo Labadlabad with Sindangan Tennis Club as host.
“Mindanao has such a wide base of (tennis) talents and with the support that we’ve been getting from various LGUs, we will continue to hold tournaments here in search of young, promising players waiting to be tapped and developed,” said Castro.
Pete Bandala also shoots for a “twinkill” as the top bet in the 10-unisex and 12-U divisions while local bet Marlyn Mesiona guns for the girls’ 12-U crown in the event sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
Meanwhile listup is ongoing for the next three tournaments, including the Liloy stop, also in Zambo del Norte, on Feb. 27-March 2, the Molave leg in Zambo del Sur on March 5-9 and the Maranding event in Lanao del Norte on March 12-16. For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.