Diego Dayrit and Samuel Nuguit bucked the odds and overcame their higher seeded rivals to record a pair of thrilling reversals in the eighth First Gen Juntaphil Metro Age Group Tennis Championship at the Alabang Country Club in Muntinlupa over the weekend.
The eighth-ranked Dayrit proved steadier than top seed Daniel Estanislao III in a pressure-packed tiebreaker, pulling off a 6-1, 5-7, 7-6(6) victory to snatch the boys’ 12-and-under crown in the annual tournament co-presented by the First Gen Corp. headed by Francis Giles Puno and sponsored by Smart Communications.
Earlier, the 12-year-old Dayrit, way down in 18th in the current Philta ranking, toppled No. 2 Miguel Vicencio, 6-2, 6-3, to arrange a title duel with Estanislao, who whipped Rupert Tortal, 6-1, 6-1, in their side of the semis.
The second seeded Nuguit, on the other hand, upended No. 1 Marc Jarata, 2-5, 5-3, 5-1, to pocket the 10-unisex plum in the week-long event organized by Juntaphil led by president Edward Puno with Technifibre as the official ball and Caloy Creer as tournament referee.
Unlike in the girls’ side where Shaira Rivera and Alex Eala romped off with two titles via straight-set romps, the boys’ finals went down-to-the-wire with Cenon Gonzales Jr. and Gabriel Tiamson also carving out a pair of three-setters in the 18- and 16-U sections.
The top seeded Gonzales came back strong from a tight first-set setback and essayed a 6-7(3), 6-2, 6-2 victory over No. 5 Joel Atienza to rule the premier division while the fifth-ranked Tiamson likewise rallied to upend No. 3 Manuel Balce III, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2, for the 16-U crown.
Marc del Rosario took the 14-U title with a 1-0 (ret.) win over Arthur Pantino.
Rivera edged Rafaella Villanueva, 7-6(2), 6-3, for the 18-U title then thwarted Melanie Faye Dizon, 6-4, 6-3, for the 16-U plum, while Eala ripped Macie Carlos, 6-2, 6-0, in the 12-U finals then stunned No. 1 Mikaela Vicencio, 6-1, 6-1, for the 14-U crown.(pr)