Sanico posts twinkill in Palawan-Ormoc netfest  

Camille Joy Sanico sustained her form and racked up two victories to kick off her campaign in the 2015 Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Regional Age Group tennis circuit presented by Technifibre at the Ormoc Midtown Tennis Club in Ormoc last Sunday.
Sanico, who swept three titles at home at the close of the 2014 season in Isabel, Leyte, mastered Jeminah Jabines twice, including a 6-1, 6-2 romp to bag the girls’ 18-and-under crown. The 15-year-old Isabel Tennis Club mainstay earlier defeated Jabines, 6-2, 6-3, to annex the 16-U plum in the five-day event kicking off the 38-stage circuit put up by the country’s leading pawnshop, remittance and claim center.
Cenon Gonzales Jr. shared the spotlight by repulsing fellow NCR bet Jerome Romualdez, 7-6(3), 4-6, 6-1, to capture the boys’ 16-U diadem while Paolo Loreto from Baybay, Leyte trampled top seed Aeron Carungay, 6-3, 6-3, to clinch the boys’ 18-U crown.
Baybay’s Joshua Torres, who also swept the 12- and 14-U titles in the Isabel leg, routed Michael Ibcas, 6-0, 6-1, to cop the 14-U title, while Franconero Nunez, also from Baybay, took the 12-U plum with a 6-1, 6-0 demolition of No. 1 Gylem Basalo in the Group 2 tournament sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association, headed by president and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
“Palawan Pawnshop will continue providing our youth ranking tournaments lie this which we hope will further inspire our young players to achieve a higher level of play,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.
Local ace Anica Cari, another Baybay mainstay, bagged the girls’ 14-U crown with a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Ormoc’s Dianne Egos, who earlier secured the 12-U title with a 6-1, 6-3 romp over Joanna Rojas.
Unranked Mia Gemida from Ormoc also stole the thunder from the big guns as she toppled No. 5 Nicholas Ogat, 4-2, 4-1, to snatch the 10-unisex plum in the country’s premier junior tennis circuit hosted by Ormoc City Mayor Edward Codilla.
Meanwhile, the second leg will be held Jan. 22-26 in Iloilo. For details,  call Palawan Pawnshop secretariat at 09154046464.(pr)
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Pimnipa nips Kanyalak as Thais keep PLO crown

Pimnipa Panthong hoists her trophy after nipping compatriot Kanyalak Preedasutthijit by one to keep the Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship for Thailand for the third straight year.(pr photo)
Pimnipa Panthong hoists her trophy after nipping compatriot Kanyalak Preedasutthijit by one to keep the Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship for Thailand for the third straight year.(pr photo)
Thai Pimnipa Panthong fended off Pauline del Rosario’s late charge with clutch putts then nipped compatriot Kanyalak Preedasutthijit by one with a closing one-over 73 to rule the Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship on her very first try at Wack Wack’s West course.
Pimnipa, 17, bucked a missed green bogey on No. 16 with tough par putts in the last two holes, including a delicate six-footer on the 17th that kept her overnight two-shot lead intact and a pressure-packed 16-footer for par on the final hole to frustrate Kanyalak’s playoff bid.
“I am very excited with this win. It’s my first time in the Philippines and I got a major crown,” said Pimnipa as she received her trophy and bouquet of flowers from WGAP president Marissa Romano and Wack Wack president Benjamin Abalos Sr.
Pimnipa, who matched del Rosario’s lead-sharing opening 69 before taking charge by two despite a 74 Thursday, finished with a 216 and kept Thailand’s domination of the country’s premier ladies golf championship which now pro Supamas Sangchan won the last two years at Mt. Malarayat and Forest Hills.
Kanyalak matched par 72 in another tough day at the West, including a save par from the bunker on the 54th hole, and completed a 1-2 finish by the Thais at 217 while del Rosario hardly recovered from a 76 with a 74 and ended up third with a 219.
The top ICTSI-The Country Club bet had five bogeys against three birdies, the last on No. 14 from four feet that kept her in the hunt. A par on the next coupled with Pimnipa’s missed green bogey on the 16th pulled del Rosario within two.
But the 16-year-old De La Salle-Zobel junior hit an errant drive on the 17th and wound up with a bogey, ruining her title bid in the championship presented by Champion Infinity and sponsored by Metro Pacific Investments Corp.
“My timing was off and there was no rhythm,” rued del Rosario, who also gave away a crucial stroke after dumping her third shot from 80 yards on the par-5 No. 13 into the greenside bunker and flubbing an eight-foot par putt bid.
Rosalinda Poss shared the spotlight by scoring a hole-in-one on No. 3. She used a TaylorMade 3-iron for her feat in the company of Isabela Miravite, Mikaela Arroyo and Annyka Cayabyab.
Yuka Saso, also of ICTSI-TCC, and Miya Legaspi fired a pair of one-under 71s and finished tied for fourth at 220 while Sam Martirez blew a two-under card at the turn with a 42 as she limped with a 76 for a 224.
Reigning US Girls Junior champion Princess Superal closed out her campaign the way she started it – in poor form as she signed for a 76 and a 225 in a tie with Sam Bruce, who shot a second straight 73.
Hong Kong’s Vivian Lee rallied with a 70 for a 226 while Bianca Pagdanganan carded a 71 for a 227 and ended up 10th in the event supported by Mega Fiber, the Philippine Golf Tour, PacSports and Shell Philippines and C2 as official beverage and Vermogen as official apparel.
Isabela Miravite nailed the Division A crown with a 262 after an 86, Singapore’s Katsuko Blalock carded a 93 for a 294 and nipped Filipina Stella Barnes, who made a 97, in a two-hole playoff to cop the Division B crown while So Han Uy topped the 36-hole Sampaguita division with an 87 and 180.(pr)

Palawan Pawnshop lines up 38-leg junior tennis circuit

The country’s leading junior tennis players and rising stars brace for another busy year as the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Regional Age Group 2015 presented by Tecnifibre stages a 38-leg nationwide circuit beginning Jan. 15-19 in Ormoc City.

The country’s leading pawnshop, remittance and claim center and Tecnifibre have re-affirmed their support to junior tennis as they lined up a series of ranking tournaments aimed at further boosting the sport that has seen the emergence of young talents from Philta’s year-long, nationwide program.
“It has been our desire to help boost the sport and at the same time tap new talents who can be developed and trained to become world-class athletes,” said Bobby Castro, COO of Palawan Pawnshop.
The circuit, sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association and staged in the key cities in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, is backed by Philta’s regional vice presidents, including Mayor Ramon Orfanel (Region 4A), Ferdinand Medina (Region 1), Mayor Rollen Paulino (Region 3B), Dr. Andres Bayona (Region 6A), Fernando Arguelles (Region 6B), Jesus Lagman (Region 7A), Ernesto Uy (Region 7B), Mario Rizon (Region 7C), Ken Salimbangon (Region 7D), Rafael Antonio Munoz (Region 8), Jimlani Imlan (Region 9), Carolina Angel (Region 11B) and Dr. Julian Galinato (Region 12).
“The Palawan Pawnshop regional age-group series hopes to serve as a venue for junior players to hone their skills and talents and give opportunities to compete against the best,” said Philta president and Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
Inspired by the success of their 30-stage tour last year, launched to address the need for a national tournament program for junior tennis, the circuit is also designed as a conduit of Philta in developing a positive outlook among the youth.
For details, call Palawan Pawnshop secretariat at 09154046464.
In Mindanao, Palawan Pawnshop and Tecnifibre opened the tournament for free in an effort to encourage more young players to participate and at the same time help boost the local host clubs’ junior development program.
“This junior tennis program is designed to instill the benefits of physical fitness and core values that promote tennis and aid in addressing the problem of juvenile delinquency,” said Tecnifibre Manager and former Davis Cupper Roland So.
Four National Opens, featuring the country’s aces, will spice up this year’s staging of the circuit, including the Cainta Open on March 18-22, the Olivarez Open on Aug. 14-30, the Tuna Festival Men’s Open in Gen. Santos City on Sept. 4-13, and the Dagitap Tennis Festival Open in Naga City, Cebu on Dec. 17-22.
Palawan Pawnshop has poured in P5 million while Tecnifibre has chipped in P1 million in kind to sustain the 38-leg grassroots circuit also held to mark Palawan Pawnshop–Palawan Express Pera Padala 30 years of excellence and at the same time share the company’s blessing with the Filipino masses.(pr)

Tight battle seen as Phl Ladies Open unfolds

Princess Superal beams as she flaunts her biggest triumph in a young career – the US Girls Junior Championship in this file photo.(pr)
Princess Superal beams as she flaunts her biggest triumph in a young career – the US Girls Junior Championship in this file photo.(pr)

The 2015 Champion Infinity Philippine Ladies Open Golf Championship gets going today (Wednesday, Jan. 14) with Princess Superal hoping her explosive finish last year would spill into the new season, a crack Thailand crew seeking to keep the crown for the third straight year and a host of others going all out to spoil the fancied bets’ title drive at Wack Wack’s West Course.

That guarantees a slam-bang action right in the first round of the 54-hole event, which means so much not only for Superal but also for Thais Kanyalak Preedasutthijit, Pimnipa Panthong and Chayanit Wangmahaporn and the likes
For winning 12 titles, including a sweep of the last five tournaments she competed in last year, Superal will be the marked player although the top ICTSI-backed bet has opted to downplay her chances in the country’s premier ladies championship sponsored by Metro Pacific Investments Corp. and organized by Women’s Golf Association of the Philippines.
“I don’t think myself as No. 1,” said the 17-year-old Superal while thumping range balls at varied distances at the Manila Southwoods during practice under coach Bong Lopez and LPGA star Jennifer Rosales yesterday. “My goal is to play well in each event and to compete at the highest level.”
Superal fell short of adding the PLO crown to her SEA Games gold last year when she lost by four to Supamas Sangchan of Thailand, who completed her back-to-back title romp in the annual event supported by Mega Fiber, the Philippine Golf Tour, PacSports and Shell Philippines and C2 as official beverage and Vermogen as official apparel.
But with a run of victories to close out 2014, Superal is eager to start the new season with a win although it will take a lot of hard work to achieve her goal what with a talent-laden field all primed up to foil her title drive.
The Thais, for one, are out to keep their reign in the event with Preedasutthijit looming as Superal’s likely rival owing to her form and confidence following her title romps in the Singha Thailand Amateur Open and the Thailand Junior World Championship last year.
“I hope 2015 will be as good as the previous year. I’ve gotten off the rust and has shed a few pounds after the holiday break. It’s time to buckle down to work,” Superal said.
The country’s ace shotmaker, however, missed going up against any of the Thais in the opener as she drew local bet Claire Legaspi, Korean  Seoyon Kwon and and ICTSI teammate Yuka Saso in the 7:30 a.m. flight with Wangmahaporn paired with Nikki Bruce, Bianca Pagdanganan and 12-year-old Fil-Am Zoe Campos at 7:40 a.m.
But Preedasutthijit is expected to have her hands full in her 7:50 a.m. flight with Pauline del Rosario, Abegail Arevalo and club bet Felicia Medalla while Panthong is grouped with Ashia Nocum, Sofia Chabon and Harmie Constantino in the 8:10 a.m. flight after Sam Martirez, Sam Bruce, Annika Cedo and Hong Kong’s Vivian Lee at 8 a.m.
Others seeing action are Junia Gabasa, Meenah Fong, Diana Araneta, Prescila Keogh, Sophia Blanco, Kayla Nocum, Ju Young Yang, Nicole Aberla, Judy Quek, Denise Seow, Ikuko Kito and young bets Mikaela Arroyo and Monique Arroyo.
The other backers of the event are Duty Free Phils., Edwin Gardiola, MVGS – Martinez, Vergara, Gonzales and Serrano, Atty. Gilberto Duavit, Mec Networks Corp., Manila Golf Ladies, Forest Hills Ladies, Tagaytay Highlands Ladies, Alabang Ladies, Wack Wack Ladies, Spectrum Graphics, Omnisource, Forest Hills Golf and Country Club, Holland Blooms, Malu Gamboa and Jollibee.(pr)

Antonio Arcano Sr., 77

Antonio Arcano Sr., 77

ANTONIO Arcano, brother of Philippine Daily Inquirer motoring and golf editor Jong, died on Thursday, Jan. 1 due to a lingering illness. He was 77.
He is survived by wife Caridad, children Ferdinand, Eleanor, Edward, Antonio Jr., Elmer, Arnel and Rommel, sisters Cecilia, Cristina, Emilia, Marilou, Estrella and brothers, Jose, Rodolfo and Jong and grand children.
His remains lie in state at the St. Peter Memorial Chapel in Commonwealth, Quezon City. Interment is at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, January 8 at the Himlayang Pilipino in Tandang Sora, Quezon City.(pr)

Death of Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla, IOC Honorary Member in Colombia

Death of Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla, IOC Honorary Member in Colombia

It is with great sadness that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has learned of the death of Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla, at the age of 89.

An IOC Member from 1988 to 2006, and Honorary Member since 2006, Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla sat on the IOC Medical Commission (1990-2006) and the International Olympic Academy Commission (1989-1990). He also occupied numerous positions within the South American sports movement, including that of President of the Colombian National Olympic Committee (1979-1989); Treasurer of the Pan-American Sports Organisation (PASO) (1983-1992); and Secretary General and Treasurer of the Bolivarian Sports Organisation (ODEBO); and he headed Colombian sports delegations on multiple occasions. He was also one of the pioneers of baseball in South America, as he founded the Bogota Baseball League in 1969 and was its President until 1979.

In parallel to his many commitments in sports administration, he obtained a doctorate in medicine and surgery at the National University of Bogota (1953), before specialising in internal medicine and joining the Colombian Institute of Social Security. He was also an Air Force physician for 26 years. In addition, he placed his medical skills at the service of sport as team doctor for various Colombian delegations. In his free time, he practised baseball and softball.

“Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla was a pioneer and a fervent campaigner for sport in his home country of Colombia and throughout South America. He understood the power of sport to change people’s lives and he worked tirelessly to bring its values across South America. As an IOC member he brought his considerable medical knowledge to the organisation sitting on the Medical Commission for 16 years. He was a great man and a great servant of sport who gave his time and energy to the Olympic Movement. His warm and friendly personality was highly appreciated by all the IOC members. He will be sadly missed by us all,” declared IOC President Thomas Bach.

The IOC expresses its deepest sympathy to the family of Fidel Mendoza Carrasquilla.(pr)

NU duels Victoria as Shakey’s LoC unfolds

Members of Team Victoria from Australia, headed by head coach George Santamaria and assistant mentor James Santamaria, pose upon arrival at the NAIA.(pr photo)
Members of Team Victoria from Australia, headed by head coach George Santamaria and assistant mentor James Santamaria, pose upon arrival at the NAIA.(pr photo)
National Capital Region champion National University tests Team Victoria’s mettle while guest team Biñan squares off with Bangladesh in a pair of featured matches highlighting Wednesday’s (Jan. 7) opening of the Shakey’s Girls Volleyball League Season 12 League of Champions at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Lady Bullpups, who foiled the UST side in four to rule the NCR leg, hope to draw the best from MVP Faith Nisperos, Kristine Magallanes and Jasmin Nabor as they take on the tall Aussies in the 5 p.m. match of an explosive five-game bill featuring the top teams from a grueling nationwide elims, two foreign teams and one guest squad.
Biñan, which will host the league’s Season 13, and Bangladesh, meanwhile, face off at 6 p.m., both out to make an impact in their first-ever stint in the league sponsored by Shakey’s and organized by Metro Sports.
Northern and Central Luzon winner Holy Faith Academy and Western Visayas titlist St. John’s Institute kick-off hostilities at 3 p.m. after a brief opening rites to be graced by Shakey’s and Metro Sports officials and other guests.
University of San Carlos, which topped the Central and Eastern Visayas elims, takes on Southern Luzon champion De La Salle at 4 p.m.
Holy Faith Academy and De La Salle are actually set to play two matches in the day as they tangle in the 7 p.m. main game of the two-division, five-day event backed by Mikasa, Asics, Volley Prep, Nature’s Spring, Sun Star, The Freeman Newspaper, Cebu Daily News, Chooga and Millenia Suites.
The top two teams from each group after the single round elims will clash in the crossover semis with the winners disputing the crown.
The annual league, considered as the breeding ground of volley talents, has produced the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Abby Marano, Ara Galang, Mika Reyes and Kim Fajardo along with sisters Dindin and Jaja Santiago, Jessey de Leon and Ennajie Laure, Mayet Zapanta and Amanda Villanueva and Bernadeth Pons.(pr)