Villanueva raps foe, gains semis

By Abac Cordero, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 09 2014 06:52 PM | Updated as of Jan 10 2014 02:52 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Rafaella Jean Villanueva continued to live up to expectations yesterday as she advanced to the semis of the girls’ 14-under class of the 25th Andrada Cup age-group tennis championships.

The top-seeded Villanueva hardly encountered problems against Blanche Lagrisola to register a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the third day of action at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Villanueva is the daughter of Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) vice president Randy Villanueva, a former age-group standout himself.

Up next for the top seed is Zethley Alferez, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Mikaela Vivencio. Frances Angelica Santiago, an impressive 6-1, 6-1 winner over Maxine Martin.

The other semis slot in the 14-under division will be disputed by Jackie Tan-Ho and Chloe Saraza.

Tan-Ho, also a promising 13-year-old netter, came back from an opening-set loss to stun Kristin Renee Salimbangon, 1-6, 6-3, 10-8. It turned out to be the day’s most exciting encounter.

The tournament is sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commision, Tru-Flex Sports Surfacing, Dunlop Balls, Olivarez Sports Center, Cebuana Lhuillier, Altamar Shipping, Phinma Group of Companies, M.C. Balce Surveying and Secure Storage Services.

It is named after PSC commissioner and long- time Philta president and Philippine Olympic Committee official Salvador “Buddy” Andrada.

Top seed Eric Jed Olivarez made it to the semis of the boys 16-under with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Jeremiah Tomacruz, and set a date with John Bryan de Casa, a 7-5, 6-3 winner over Chris Justine Prulla.