SOUTHEAST Asian Games men’s doubles gold medalists Jeson Patrombon and Casey Alcantara bring their winning act to Cebu as they headline the elite cast battling for top honors in the PPS-PEPP Dagitab Festival Open starting today, Tuesday, at the City of Naga Tennis courts.
Mark Alcoseba, a member of the winning soft tennis team in the recent biennial Games, is also in the fold, firming up the 64-player cast which also features top seed and multi-titled Johnny Arcilla and regular Open campaigners and third seed Vicente Anasta, Fritz Verdad, Leander Lazaro, Rodolfo Barquin Jr., Roel Capampangan and Arthur Pantino.
The second-ranked Patrombon and No. 4 Alcantara held off Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales Jr. in an all-Filipino finale in the men’s doubles of the SEA Games at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center with both raring to go for individual honors this time along with the rest of the crack field ready to vie for the top P40,000 purse in the event hosted by the City of Naga headed by Mayor Valdemar Chiong.
Alcoseba teamed up with the likes of Mikoff Manduriao, Joseph Arcilla, Dheo Talatayod, Kevin Mamawal and Noel Damian Jr. to beat the Thailand side and deliver the third gold in soft tennis for the hosts.
The Group I juniors division kicked off the annual event presented by Dunlop and put up by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala through president-CEO Bobby Castro as part of its long running talent-search. It kicked off over the weekend as part of the province’s Dagitab Festival celebrations with competitions in Legends category spicing up the tournament in the 40s men’s singles, and the 30s, 40s and 50s men’s doubles.
Others vying in the Open singles are rising young star John David Velez along with Jeremiah Necias III, Norman Enriquez and Allen Manlangit.
Velez is also competing in the junior division along with local bets Venz Alforque, Eric Longakit, Mitch Largo and Vincent Canete while Bliss Bayking headlines the girls’ roster that includes Mia Gemida, Claire Nocos, Hazel Coderos and siblings Khymberly and Ashley McKenzie.