Unseeded Elmar Christian Lagat and fancied Angela Cabaral fashioned out a pair of double victories in their respective divisions to dominate the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala presented by Babolat tennis tournament at the Praxevilla and Silliman Tennis clubs in Dumaguete City yesterday.
Lagat, a 13-year-old local find, stunned top seed Fernando Arguelles in the first round, 5-3, 4-1, then went on to sweep No. 8 Jay Benlota, 4-0, 4-2, and fourth seed Bernd Haft, 4-0, 4-1, before holding off No. 2 Adrian Dehertogh, 6-1, 7-5, in the finals to capture the boys’ 16-and-under crown.
He also upended No. 3 Karl Baran, 4-0, 4-0, in the opener then mastered Dehertogh, 6-4, 6-4, in the championship to pocket the 14-and-U title and complete a twinkill in the 17th leg of the nationwide circuit put up by Palawan Pawnshop and Babolat and sanctioned by Philta headed by president and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
The No. 2 Cabaral, a 14-year-old ace from PTA Bais, fought back from a set down then outlast No. 1 Toni Rose Raymundo in the tiebreaker to hack out a 5-7, 6-1, 10-3 victory and clinch the girls’ 18-and-U plum. As top seed, Cabaral repeated over Raymundo, 6-3, 6-4, for the 16-and-U diadem in the event that drew young, promising players from La Carlota, Bacolod, Bais, Bayawan City and Bohol.
“Lagat’s victory underscores the thrust of our tennis program to discover and tap talents from the countryside, who could trained and developed to become national team members,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.
Arguelles, meanwhile, trounced Mack Quinicot, 6-3, 6-2, to cop the boys’ 18-and-U title, Ibar Ortega wore down Cezar Po, 7-5, 7-5, in the boys’ 12-and-U finals; No. 4 Kianah Vincoy upset second seed Shyryn Salazar, 6-1, 6-4, to bag the girls’ 14-and-U crown; Salazar thwarted top seed Kiana De Asis, 4-6, 6-3, 11-9, for the 12-and-U plum; and Alekzander Fern Po took the 10-unisex title with a 6-4, 6-1 romp over Joshua Raymundo.
Organizers and the host of the next Palawan Pawnshop tennis stop in Gen. Santos City said registration is free with giveaway for the early registrants for the 18th leg on Sept. 20-23.
For details, contact Philta referee Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464. Events on tap are the 10-unisex, and the boys and girls’ 12-U, 14-U, 16-U and 18-U categories.