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Velez, Padilla humble rivals at Ozamiz City netfest

John David Velez topped the 16-under division

JOHN David Velez.

John David Velez and Judy Ann Padilla scored a pair of victories to lead the winners in the PPS-PEPP Mayor Oaminal national age group tournament at the Asenso tennis courts in Ozamiz City last weekend.

Velez, 16, outclassed Brent Cortes, 6-4, 6-2, to rule his age bracket then hacked out a 7-6 (4), 3-4 (ret.) win over Nash Agustines in the 18-and-under finals to match fellow Ozamiz bet Padilla’s two-title feat in the girls’ side of the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop.

The 14-year-old Padilla rapped Christine Gulagula, 6-1, 6-0, to dominate her age category then trounced Zeiah Toribio, 6-2, 6-0, in the 16-U finals of the event which kicked off the Mindanao swing of the country’s long-running talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala headed by president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Sharing the spotlight are Cebu’s David Sepulveda (10-unisex), Mark Solis from Tangub City and Cielo Gonzales from Oroquieta (12-U) Cyd Villamar from Lanao del Norte (boys’ 14-U), and Zambo del Norte’s ace Sydney Enriquez (girls’ 18-U).

Sepulveda stunned top seed and doubles partner Pete Bandala, 5-3, 5-3; Solis stopped Sepulveda in the semis, 4-1, 4-5(5), 10-8, in the semis then foiled Bandala, 6-3, 6-2; Gonzales held off Rose Mesiona, 6-4, 7-5; Villamar shocked top seed Neo Maratas, 0-4, 4-1, 10-7, in the semis then warded off No. 2 Penshoppe Erquita, 7-6(2), 2-6, 10-2; and Enriquez romped off with a 6-1, 6-1 triumph over doubles partner Karylle Baco.

Enriquez and Baco later edged siblings Jude Ann and Carmel Padilla, 8-7(6), to snare the 18-U doubles crown with Alexis Acabo and Nilo Ledama snaring the boys’ title with an 8-5 victory over Agustines and Cortes.

Erquita and Solis bagged the 14-U diadem with an 8-4 triumph over Bandala and Sepulveda while AJ Acabo and Gulagula claimed the girls’ plum with an 8-3 rout of Shandy Cailing and Myushe Plariza and Sepulveda and Bandala thumped Rio Aguinid and Harlene Hangka, 8-2, for the 10-unisex title.

Meanwhile, action moves to Sindangan in Zambo del Norte on Feb. 20-24 with Liloy hosting the next leg on Feb. 27-March 2. For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

The circuit moves to Zambo del Sur on March 5-9 for the Molave leg with Maranding serving as the next stage on March 12-16 before it goes to Lanao del Norte for the Lala Maranding leg on March 12-16.