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Velez, Madis share PPS Pikit MVP plums

John David Velez continued to dominate the Mindanao swing of the Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional tennis tournament, racking up another pair of titles even as Tennielle Madis scored three victories in the Pikit leg at the Pikit Tennis Club in Cotabato last Monday.

Velez, 14, reasserted his mastery over Bruce Hurtado, posting a 6-2, 6-2 romp in the boys’ 16-and-under finals and escaping with a 7-5, 6-4 decision in the premier 18-U side of the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

The twin victories came on the heels of the Precious International School of Davao ace’s three-title feat in Mlang two weeks ago, ruling his age-group and the 16- and 18-U divisions over Hurtado.

Madis, on the other hand, took over from sister Jazzelle, who captured two titles in Mlang but skipped the Pikit leg, as she swept the 10-unisex and girls’ 12- and 14-U plums in the event backed by the Unified Tennis Group, composed of Cebuana Lhuillier, PPS-PEPP, Wilson, Toby’s, BMeg, Citigreen, Babolat and Tru-Flex.

The Mlang, Cotabato rising star crushed Josh Cabanting, 4-0, 4-0, for the 10-unisex title, ripped Jillian Manangking, 6-3, 6-1, in the 12-U finals, then trampled Daniela Dandalanin, 6-2, 6-1, for the 14-U diadem.

“Velez and Madis’ feats should inspire other young players to strive harder and the PPS-PEPP circuit will provide them the venue and the year-round exposure to enhance their talent and skills,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Local bet Arnie Joy Diaz shared the spotlight as she annexed two titles, holding off doubles partner Jeanne Gornes twice, 7-5, 6-4, and 2-6, 6-3, 10-5, in the girls’ 16- and 18-U finals, respectively.

Other winners were Cabacan, Cotabato’s Reyman Saldivar, who survived Cedric Pamplona, 6-7(2), 6-3, 10-4, for the boys’ 12-U crown; Koronadal’s Angil Balaoing, who upset top seed Pamplona, 6-4, 6-4, in the 14-U finals.