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Gabrielle Zoleta racked up four titles, including two in doubles, while Klyde Lagarde notched three victories as they dominated the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Pinamalayan leg regional age-group tournament at the Bahaghari Tennis Club in Mindoro yesterday.
Zoleta scored a 4-1(ret.) win over top seed Tracy Llamas to add the girls’ 18-and-under crown to the 14-U plum she earlier notched via a 6-1, 6-0 romp over Julia Ignacio. The Lucena City star also teamed up with Ignacio to crush the Dana Jalbay-Minette Huerra tandem, 8-0, for the 14-U doubles plum then partnered with Lila Salvacio to upend the top-seeded pair of Llamas and Kiana de Asis, 8-5, for the 18-U diadem.
But she fell short in the 16-U singles, bowing to de Asis 6-3, 6-2, in the semis with the latter repulsing her fellow La Carlota bet Llamas, 4-6, 7-6(2), 10-6, in a thrilling finale in the Group 2 tournament hosted by Pinamalayan, Mindoro Gov. Alfonso Umali Jr. and held in cooperation with Butch Buenaventura.
Lagarde, meanwhile, dished out top form to overpower Angelo Mates, 6-0, 6-1, and clinch the boys’ 18-U crown, which came after he outclassed Jose Buenaventura, 6-1, 6-3, to pocket the 16-U plum in the tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger and which drew over 250 entries.
“From among the big field emerged two players – Zoleta and Lagarde, who should inspire the other youngsters for their determination and work ethic, which they can develop through participation in our year-long circuit,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Other winners were third seed Keisha Lopez, who stopped Marilag Hintay, 6-1, 6-1, for the girls’ 12-U title; unranked Jose Marie de Leon, who stunned No. 3 Nedrick Luarca, 4-2, 4-0, for the 10-unisex crown; third ranked Anya Uy, who clobbered Nicos Ison, 6-2, 6-0, for the boys’ 14-U title; and No. 2 Patrick Salvacion, who nipped top seed sibling Luis Salvacion, 1-6, 7-6(6), 10-8, for the boys’ 12-U plum.
Meanwhile, the country’s long-running age-grouper kicks off summer leg with simultaneous tournaments in the Visayas and Mindanao with the Cebu leg on April 17-21 in Consolacion and in Gen. Santos City on April 19-23.
For details, call PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
Mactan will host the next stop on April 22-26 while Koronadal will hold its own tournament on April 24-28 before Tacloban takes its turn on April 28-May 2 and Tagum on April 30-May 4.
Baybay, Leyte will stage the next leg on May 3-7 to be followed by the Maasin stage on May 8-12 and the Ubay, Bohol stop on May 13-17 while the Sultan Kudarat leg will be held June 15-19.
Three summer legs will be also staged in Luzon, including at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque on May 18-22, at the Manila Southwoods on May 24-28 and in Legazpi City on May 27-June 4.