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Maneja shines in Olivarez netfest

Justine Maneja romped off with the 16-and-under crown then stunned top seed Denise Bernardo to snare the 18-U title to complete a “twin-kill” in the PPS-PEPP Dr. Pablo Olivarez national age-group 2019 at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque last Sunday.

Maneja, 16, dominated her age bracket, yielding eight games in three matches before trouncing Gaby Zoleta, 6-3, 6-0, in the finals.

The rising star from Quezon City repeated over Zoleta in the 18-U semis, 6-1, 7-5, then upended Bernardo, 6-0, 6-1, to emerge the lone two-title winner in the Group 1 tournament sponsored by Dr. Pablo Olivarez.

Unranked Joaquin de Leon provided the sparks in the five-day tournament spread over two holidays and weekends to allow the student-athletes to play without missing their respective classes, snatching the boys’ 16-U diadem via a 3-6, 6-0, 11-9 decision over Samuel Nuguit.

He also finished runner-up in the 18-U division ruled by fellow Imus, Cavite bet Laurenz Quitara, 2-6, 6-2, 10-7, and shared the MVP honors with the girls’ champ in the event presented by Dunlop and held as part of the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala circuit.

“It’s inspiring to see these student-athletes putting up their best efforts in pursuit of ranking points in the circuit where fresh faces and promising talents continue to emerge,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Other winners were siblings Kriz Roque Lim (10-unisex) and John Prince Lim (boys’ 12-U) from Urdaneta, Pangasinan; Las Piñas’ Nuguit (boys’ 14-U); Alabang’s Margarita Labio (girls’ 12-U); and Sta. Rosa, Laguna’s Melody Dizon (girls’ 14-U) while prevailing in doubles division of the tournament, sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg, were Zoleta-Julia Ignacio and Quitara-Jester Ocio (18-U); Francine Dizon-Shaira Silva and Diva-Prince Ricamara (14-U); and Davila-Kriz Lim (10-unisex).

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