Cedrix Bravo hacked out a pair of tough wins while Ashley McKenzie swept her way to twin victories in the premier sides to clinch the MVP honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Mandaue national age-group tennis tournament in Cebu last Monday.
The top-seeded Bravo from Ormoc City survived Raymund Goco twice, escaping with a 6-1, 3-6, 10-6 victory in the boys’ 16-U finals and a 6-7(2), 7-5, 10-8 thriller for the 18-U crown in the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop.
The No. 4 McKenzie, on the other hand, routed top seed Bless Coderos, 6-1, 6-2, in the semis then ripped No. 2 Corazon Lambonao, 6-3, 6-1, to snare the girls’ 16-U diadem and lead the rash of reversals in the girls’ division. The rising star from Australia, whose mother is a Cebuana, held off Mia Gemida, 7-5, 6-2, in the 18-U finals of the event put up by Palawan Pawnshop.
Gemida, also from Ormoc, earlier upended top seed Lambonao, 6-2, 6-1, for the 14-U title while Thalia Suson, Louise Paliwag, Mitch Largo and Goco shared center stage in the penultimate leg of the annual nationwide circuit sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilsoin, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
No. 4 Suson, from Liloan, Cebu, stunned top seed Paliwag, 7-5, 7-5, to pocket the girls’ 12-U plum; Paliwag, from Valencia, Dumaguete, took the 10-unisex title with a 4-2, 4-5(3), 4-0 victory over Juvels Velos; and Largo, from Naga, Cebu, repulsed Chad Cuizon, 3-6, 6-2, 10-4, for the boys’ 12-U diadem.
Goco served notice of his rise by shocking top seed Hans Cabellon, 2-6, 6-4, 10-0, in the semis and blasting Mitch Largo, 6-2, 6-2, to nail the 14-U title.
“The future looks bright for McKenzie, Goco and company who continue to shine through sustained campaign in the PPS-PEPP circuit,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro, who has lined up a bigger 70-leg tour that will keep the country’s junior players busy in 2019.
For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
McKenzie also led the doubles winners as she teamed up with sibling Khymberly to beat Bless and Hazel Coderos, 8-3, for the 18-U title with Goco and Kenneth Tenepre foiling Bravo and Cabellon, 8-4. Other winners were Mia Gemida and Lambonao and Cabellon and Cuizon (14-U) and Shara Paliwag and Christian Laguna (10-unisex)