THE country’s leading and rising junior players clash in a series of grueling head-to-head duels in pursuit of the coveted crowns in the inaugural PPS-PEPP Mayor Rene Gustilo Cup UTP Top 8 Juniors which got under way recently at the Sacata Tennis Club in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
The field is made up of the top 8 players in nine age categories (boys and girls) from last year’s Unified Tennis Philippines ranking with each group divided into two sides. Play is round robin with the top two from each division facing off in the crossover semis with the winners disputing the crown.
“It’s high time these young players get to test their skills in a different setup,” said Bobby Castro, president-CEO of the sponsoring Palawan Pawnshop Palawan Express Pera Padala. “Emerging on top from this Best of the Best event is enough to motivate them to dish out their very best.”
Bannering the centerpiece 18-and-under class are Zambo del Norte’s Sydney Enriquez and Chloe Omos, La Carlota’s Krystel Galanza, Avril Suace from Iloilo, Isabela’s Paula Uy, Ellaine Bahonsua from Siquijor, Daniela Dandalanin from North Cotabato and Pherl Coderos from Cebu City, (girls);
Eric Tangub and Nilo Ledama from Zambo del Sur, Iloilo’s Nikhel Nowlakha and John Lamparero, Cebuano Venz Alforque, Lanao del Norte’s Brent Cortes, Ormoc’s Cedric Bravo and Kidapawan’s Herald Aton (boys).
Vying in the 16-U side of the event presented by the City of San Carlos are (boys) Laguna’s Jose Bernardo, Misamis Oriental’s Nash Agustines, La Union’s Mark Jarata, Roxas City’s Drixcyn Guillano, Misamis’ John David Velez, Nueva Ecija’s Ivan Manila, Hans Cabellon from Cebu and La Carlota’s Joshua Raymundo and (girls) Justine Maneja from Manila, Ormoc’s Mia Gemida, Iloilo’s Althea Martirez and Ma. Petrina Aguirre, Cebu’s Tiffany Nocos, Corazon Lambonao from Ormoc, Lanao del Norte’s Kristine Bandolis and Alexa Milliam from La Carlota.