Guia Bandolis hacked out a pair of tough victories in the PPS-PEPP Dipolog national age-group tennis tournament at the Mibang Tennis Club in Zamboanga del Norte recently.
The fourth-ranked Bandolis, 14, rebounded from a shutout loss in the second set to repulse Mae Gulagula, 6-1, 0-6, 10-6, and rule her age bracket. She then toppled Angel Repaja, 6-4, 6-4, in the 18-and-U finals to emerge the lone “double” winner in the upset-marred Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop.
But the Tubod, Lanao del Norte bet failed to match her three-title romp in Sindangan as Gulagula, from Dapitan, got back at her, 7-5, 6-3, to snare the 16-U diadem in the event serving as part of the country’s biggest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala.
Three other reversals were posted in the boys’ side with unranked Bryan Antonio, also from Dapitan, topping the 18-U division with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over top seed Ashton Villanueva and No. 4 Aldree Pan from Dumingag overpowering third seed Neo Maratas, 6-1, 6-3, to claim the 16-U title.
Local bet Mark Barros shocked top seed Andrei Tan, 2-6, 6-1, 10-5, to snatch the 12-U plum and share the MVP honors with Bandolis following a second place finish in the 14-U side. Maratas foiled Barros’ two-title bid with a 6-1, 6-3 romp.
“The future of Philippine tennis is secured with the rise of these young players, especially in the countryside, who all aim to make it big someday and the PPS-PEPP will continue to provide them the venue to polish and hone their skills and talent,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Dipolog’s young ace Pete Bandala, meanwhile, remained the prince in 10-unisex play, crushing doubles partner Rose Mesiona, 4-0, 4-0. The duo later teamed up to clinch the doubles crown with an 8-0 rout of Cielo Gonzales and Marcus Tan.