Ma. Judyann Padilla of Ozamiz City and Sibugay’s Thomas Gabuat fashioned out a pair of straight-set victories each to dominate the PPS-PEPP national age group tennis tournament at the RGS courts in Zamboanga del Norte Thursday.
But while Padilla needed to scrape past a tough AJ Acabo twice, 6-3, 6-4, and 6-3, 6-3, in the 18- and 16-and-under finals, respectively, Gabuat cruised to a pair of shutout wins over Axel Apat and Mark Barrios to match the former’s two-title feat in the Group 2 tournament held under the auspices of the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).
Other winners in the four-day tournament, which served as part of the nationwide circuit put up by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala president and CEO Bobby Castro, were Sindangan’s Marlyn Mesiona, Lanao del Norte’s Josh Lim, Alexis Acido from Polanco, local bet Pete Bandala and Sherwin Gom-os from Liloy.
The top seeded Mesiona clobbered Ellen Ramos, 6-1, 6-0, while the unranked Lim upended No. 1 Bandala, 6-2, 6-0, to clinch the 14-U crowns; Alexis Acido wore down Gabrielle Bulado, 7-5, 7-5, while Bandala routed Rashdi Macaundas, 6-1, 6-1, to share top honors in 12-U play; and No. 2 Gom-os repulsed Vanizer Acabo, 4-2, 4-1, for the 10-unisex plum in the event presented by Dunlop.
Meanwhile, action heats up in the country’s longest running age-grouper, the spawning ground of talents who could be tapped and developed into becoming future members of the national pool and team, with the next leg firing off this weekend at the Sindangan courts, also in Zamboanga del Norte.
The circuit moves to Lanao del Norte in Maranding on May 1-3 then to Oroquieta City on May 4-6.