Bernaldez wrests 2 crowns in Mati junior tennis tourney


CHELSSEA BERNALDEZ raised the girls’ 18-and-under trophy for the second straight week and added the 16-and-under crown to emerge as the lone “double” winner in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) City of Mati national junior tennis championships at the Sainz and Clergy courts in Davao Oriental over the weekend.

Like in her tough three-set escape over AJ Acabo in the Maragusan leg in Davao de Oro, Bernaldez survived another cliffhanger, overcoming top seed Sanschena Francisco, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7, in the finals of the centerpiece age group division in the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop.

The Tagum City find earlier routed Faith Lazaro, 6-2, 6-2, to clinch the 16-and-under trophy and the MVP honors in the week-long event which served as the second of a three-leg PPS-PEPP swing in the Davao region.

Tagum City will be the last stop from September 7 to 11 in Davao del Norte. For details and registration, contact event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 09154046464.

Young Kresthan Belacas from M’lang, North Cotabato grabbed a piece of the spotlight as he posted a victory and a runner-up finish to emerge the top performer in the boys’ side of the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop under president and CEO Bobby Castro.

Belacas crushed Jaycee Compa, 4-0, 4-0, in the 10-unisex finals but fell short of his two-title bid as top seed Matt Docena foiled him, 7-6(5), 6-1, in the 12-and-under championship.

Other winners were Lazaro from Tagum, Princess Placa from Digos City, local bet Duane Batad, and Maragusan’s Bench Neri and Vancidrik Rosalinda.
Lazaro thwarted Placa, 6-2, 7-6(3), for the girls’ 14-and-under crown; Placa took the 12-and-under title with a 6-1, 6-1 romp over Justine Gumbao; Batad stunned top seed Randy Pausanos, 6-3, 6-2, in the semis then upended No. 2 Kristofer Espinoza, 7-5, 6-4, to complete his surprise title run in the boys’ 18-and-under; and the top-seeded Neri blasted Anton Yee, 6-0, 6-2, for the boys’ 16-and-under trophy.

Rosalinda also made it two-in-row in boys’ 14-and-under side as he repulsed Dexter Salcedo, 4-6, 6-1, 10-3.

The doubles winners were Compa and Francis Dimzon (10-under), Gian Luna and Fritz Plete (boys’ 14-and-under), Batad and Roland Lingaon (boys’ 18-and-under), Camille Clar and Placa, who swept the girls’ 14- and 18-and-under crowns.

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