Ortega grabs 2 crowns in Tuburan national juniors tennis tournament


LOCAL ace Samantha Ortega upset top seed Mary Brigoli in a grueling three-set quarterfinal battle then went on to capture the girls’ 18-under singles crown with a 6-0, 6-2 rout of Vinz Penalosa for a “double” in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) Mayor Aljun Diamante national juniors tennis tournament in Tuburan, Cebu, over the weekend.

After besting Donna Mae Diamante, 6-4, 6-1, in the 16-under finals at the Roy Tabotabo clay courts, Ortega got past Gesellyn Constancio. 4-1, 4-1, in the first round in 18-under play then pulled off a 4-0, 2-4, 10-7 victory over Brigoli before ripping Jamie Carmona, 6-1, 6-2, in the semifinals.

She then dominated Penalosa in a duel of unranked bets after the latter bundled out second seed Cheska Mamac, 6-4, 6-2, in their semifinals duel.

Claudwin Toñacao, on the other hand, posted a victory and a runner-up finish in the boys’ side to share the MVP honors with Ortega in the Group 2 tournament held as part of the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.

The Bogo (Cebu) bet held off Andrio Estrella, 6-3, 6-3, in the 12-under finals but yielded to Al Jose Gairanot, Jr. of Cebu City, 0-6, 2-6, in the 14-under championship.

Other winners in the week-long event staged to boost the host city’s sports development program through the efforts of Mayor Diamante were Danao, Cebu’s Kate Imalay; Tuburan’s Thea Castro; Toledo, Cebu’s Miecoz Candelasa; and Ariel Cabaral of Bais City.

The top-seeded Imalay routed Donna Diamante, 6-1, 6-1, for the girls’ 14-under title; Castro blasted Danica Diamante, 6-0, 6-3, for the girls’ 12-under crown; Candelasa downed Benedict Goco, 6-2, 6-1, for the boys’ 18-under diadem; and top-ranked Cabaral survived No. 3 Juvels Velos, 2-6, 6-4, 10-8, for the boys’ 16-under trophy.

Sharing the spotlight were Legends men’s doubles winners Cliff Acaso and Nino Villaceran (40s), and Roy Tabotabo and Titus Tabotabo (50s); Legends men’s champions Acasa (35) and Roy Tabotabo (45).

Meanwhile, junior action moves to Luzon for the PPS-PEPP Imus (Cavite) from April 20 to 24 with Lucena hosting the next stop from April 27 to 30 and Cainta (Rizal) staging the Open, Juniors and Legends from May 1 to 14.

Olivarez Sports Center will host the next juniors tilt from May 18 to 22 before hostilities move to Zentro (Pampanga) from May 25 to 29.

For details and registration, contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

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