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Santos, Billonez bag PPS MVP honors

Sebastian Santos upstaged his fancied fellow local rivals while Franzyn Billonez lived up to the hype as they won two singles victories each in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Puerto Princesa leg regional tennis tournament at the Puerto Princesa Tennis Club in Palawan yesterday.

The unranked Santos stunned top seed and doubles partner Rayven Hitosis twice in three times that they faced in the finals, winning the boys’ 14- and 16-and-under titles via 6-2, 6-3 and 4-1, 0-4, 10-6 scorelines, respectively.
Hitosis averted a sweep by winning the 16-U crown in a rain-shortened finale, 4-2, 4-1.

Billonez also pocketed the girls’ 14- and 16-U plums over doubles partner Amelie Matta, 6-0, 7-3(3), and 5-4(6), 3-5, 10-3, respectively. But like Santos, she missed sweeping the three titles as Matta took the 18-U diadem with a 1-0(ret.) win.

But their two titles proved enough to net Santos and Billonez the MVP honors in the Group 2 event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger and backed by the Unified Tennis Group, led by PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.

Santos actually won three titles as he and Hitosis took the 18-U doubles plum with an 8-5 win over siblings Jerry and Jericho Ong while Billonez went home with four crowns after teaming up with Matta twice, an 8-3 victory of Steph Cornelio and Trixia Talan in the 18-U finals and an 8-0 rout of Giechelle dela Cruz and Crisha Santos in the 14-U side.

Renz Billonez, meanwhile, bagged the boys’ 12-U title with a 6-1, 6-2 upset over top seed Jaydan Perez, while No. 1 Crisha Santos crushed Aira Tindugan, 4-0, 4-0, to run away with the girls’ crown.