Top seed Jerome Romualdez lived up to the hype, sweeping second seed Fernando Arguelles twice to annex the boys’ 16- and 18-and-under titles in the Palawan Pawnshop-OTR regional age-group tennis tournament at the Consolacion Tennis Courts in Laray, Cebu last Monday.
Romualdez, one of NCR’s top junior netters, toppled the Bacolod-based Arguelles, 6-4, 6-2, in the 16-and-U finals then repeated with a 6-2, 6-1 romp to pocket the premier 18-U crown in the five-day tournament that featured some of the leading players from Hong Kong’s On The Rise tennis academy.
But the local bets stamped their class in the event sanctioned by Philta and hosted by Consolacion Mayor Teresita Alegado as siblings No. 3 Danny and No. 4 Joe McLaren of HK losing in the quarters and semis, respectively, in the 18-and-U category.
“Romualdez and the other local bets’ victories over their foreign counterparts speak well of Philta’s program. By putting up this series of tournaments through Palawan Pawnshop and Babolat, we hope to produce more aces, especially from the countryside,” said Philta president and Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
Arguelles also foiled Danny McLaren in the 16-U semis while Baybay, Leyte’s Anica Cari scored a 3-0 (ret.) win over Grace Xu to cop the girls’ 12-and-U plum in the event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop headed by COO Bobby Castro and Babolat, led by Technosports president Guillermo Nocom.
Top seed Jana Pages clipped Immaville Gervacio, 7-5, 6-1, to win the girls’ 18-and-U crown; Gervacio pulled off a thriller of a win over Zethley Alferez, 6-4, 6-7(4), 7-6(7), to snare the 16-and-U diadem; and Alferez of Cebu held off Shyne Villareal, 6-3, 6-4, to bag the 14-and-U plum.
Cebu’s No. 5 Francis Lambayan stunned top seed Mark Directo of Sultan Kudarat, 6-4, 6-4, in the semis then upended No. 3 Francis Navales, 6-0, 6-2, to capture the boys’ 14-and-U crown; Ozamis bet Mark Suson also shocked the top seeded Directo, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4, to win the 12-and-U title; while NCR’s No. 1 Diego Dayrit dominated No. 2 Cesar Salimbangon of Cebu, 6-1, 6-1, to pocket the 10-unisex plum.(pr)