More than 200 entries, led by fancied Sydney Enriquez and Eric Tangub, slug it out in nine age group divisions, each aiming for top honors and ranking points in the PPS-PEPP Oroquieta national age-group tennis tournament which got going yesterday in Misamis Occidental.
But though they have reigned in the 16- and 18-and-under class in past Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala tournaments, Enriquez and Tangub brace for a tougher outing this time with Jalia Elumba, Guia Bandolis, Judy Ann Padilla and Angel Repaja all coming into the Group 2 event in top form and ready to stop the Salug, Zamboanga del Norte ace in the girls’ premier two categories.
So the likes of Ashton Villanueva, Nash Agustines, Divo Pepito and Nilo Ledama, who are also out to put one over Tangub, from Tucuran, Zambo del Sur, in the boys’ 16- and 18-U play of the event presented by Dunlop and hosted by Gov. Herminia Ramiro.
Four divisions drew 32-player draws each, underscoring the popularity of the sport in this side of the Mindanao swing of the country’s biggest, long-running talent-search sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
“We thank the host city for helping us put up this huge field where we expect new faces to emerge,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “This should also inspire future hosts to encourage the youth to take part in our continuing effort to help discover future stars.”