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Velez, Bentillo win

John David Velez and April Minette Bentillo took the 14-and-under crowns in varying fashions as they shared center stage with Vince Tugade and Carlyn Guarde in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Isulan regional age group tennis tournament in Sultan Kudarat last Monday.

Velez flashed top form to crush John Litang, 6-1, 6-0, in the finals, completing a dominating campaign that saw the rising Davao ace drop just four games on his way to the championship in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

Bentillo also looked headed to matching Velez’s romp in the girls’ side but after yielding six games from the first round to the semis, the local ace struggled against Alexa Milliam and needed to come up with clutch hits to hack out a 3-6, 7-6(5), 10-8 decision.

The victories came after Velez and Bentillo, along with Milliam from La Carlota and seven others, earned a three-month scholarship program at the Macs Crankit Tennis Academy in Australia. The others are Iloilo City’s Marben Mosquera, Klyde Lagarde from Gen. Santos City, Janus Ringia from Koronadal City, Sydney Ezra Enriquez from Zamboanga, Kiana de Asis and Tracy Llamas, all from La Carlota, Bacolod, and Elsie Abarquez from Carcar, Cebu.

Meanwhile, local bets Tugade and Guarde nailed two titles each with the former repulsing Ringia twice, 6-3, 6-3, for the boys’ 16-U title and 6-2, 6-3, for the 18-U plum. Guarde, on the other hand, toppled Tracy Llamas, 6-4, 6-2, for the girls’ 16-U diadem then overpowered Dana Abad, 6-2, 6-2, for the 18-U title.

Third ranked Andre Padao upended No. 2 Cedric Pamplona, 0-6, 6-2, 10-8, in the semis, then the Digos City bet stunned top seed Reyman Saldivar Jr., 4-6, 6-4, 10-4, to claim the boys’ 12-U crown, while Milliam bagged the girls’ title with a 6-2, 6-3 romp over Tennielle Madis, who took the 10-unisex crown with a 4-1, 4-1 victory over Charles Jumawan.

The doubles winners were Velez-Angil Balaoing and Llamas-de Asis (18-U), Danniela Dandalanin-Jilian Manangking and Cedric Pamplona-Saldivar (14-U), and Francisco Sanchena-Madis (10-U).

Meanwhile, the circuit shifts to Digos City on June 22-26. Listup is ongoing. For details, call PPS-PEPP sports program development director Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 0915-4046464.

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