VINCE BAISA tries to match his surprise two-title feat in Iloilo last week this time as a seeded entry in the boys’ 16- and 18-under divisions of the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) Gov. F. Castro national juniors tennis championships which got under way at the Villareal Stadium courts in Roxas City, Capiz, Thursday.
The unranked Baisa stunned the fancied bets to score a “double” in the recent Dinagyang Festival event, enabling him to earn ranking points and gain the No. 2 seeding behind No. 1 Vince Serna in the premier side of this week’s Group 2 tournament serving as the third leg of a season-long junior circuit presented by Dunlop.
The Puerto Princesa City, Palawan find is also ranked No. 3 in 16-under play top-billed by Reign Maravilla and Ian Ituriaga, while Gabrio Serillo and Rafael Santiago lead the boys’ 14-under cast in the week-long tournament of the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.
Serillo, one of the winners in the circuit’s kickoff tournament, the Masters Top 8 in Negros Occidental two weeks ago, headlines the 12-under field that includes Bjorn Castigador, Francisco de Juan and Prince Crisosto, while Andre Mejia, Naeem Serillo, Crisosto and de Juan are tipped to dispute the 10-under trophy in the event sponsored by Gov. Fredenil Castro with support from sports coordinator Matty Viterbo and consultant Atty. Rudy Alba.
Meanwhile, the host city will resume its free training and clinic sessions, which is open to all, including beginners, in its commitment to help develop the sport and keep the youngsters busy and away from gadgets, according to tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay. For details, contact 0915-4046464.
Action in the girls’ side is also expected to be fierce with Abigail Aguirre, Jana Diaz, Princess Tana and Aleeva Suave all primed for the 18-under battle. Diaz, Suace and Tana, along with Louraine Jallorina, also loom as the players to watch in the 16-under division.
Jallorina also gains the top seeding in 14-under play with Diana Alcarde, Claire Fungo, Aramae Mostrero, Joy Marquez and Ysabelle Cordovero joining the title hunt. Alcarde, Fungo and Marquez also banner the 12-under class with Donarose Olavides also out to stir up play in the tournament backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating.