MANILA, Philippines - Iloilo’s Luke Flores and local ace Toni Rose Raymundo hacked out a pair of straight-set victories to dominate the start of the 2014 Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age group tennis circuit presented by Tecnifibre in La Carlota, Bacolod City last Monday.
Flores, playing out of Central Philippine University, showed his mastery over Fernando Arguelles, squeezing out a 6-3, 7-5 victory to capture the boys’ 18-and-under crown and pulling off a 7-5, 6-4 win for the 16-and-U title in the four-day event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and Technifibre and sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association.
Not to be outdone, Raymundo, from PTA-La Carlota, also subdued Angela Cabaral twice, scoring a 6-2, 6-2 romp in the girls’ 16-and-U finals and posting a 7-5, 6-2 victory in the premier class of the tournament that served as the kick-off of the 29-stage nationwide circuit held to further promote the sport and discover fresh talents, especially from the countryside.
“We regularly sponsor sports activities in the areas where we operate. It is our way of giving back to the community part of our blessings and encouraging people to engage in sports for healthier lives,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro. “The program is part of our long-term commitment to promote sports as one of the primary focus of our corporate social responsibility.“
Young siblings Fernando Ceazar Po and Alekzander Fern Po of PTA-Bacolod also hogged the spotlight with the former nipping unranked RJ Dejilla, 4-6, 7-5, (10-7) to cop the boys’ 12-and-U plum and the latter taking the 10-unisex diadem with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Pete Andre Rodriguez.
Third seed Karl Christian Baran upended top ranked James Contratista, 6-3, 6-0, to nail the boys’ 14-and-U crown while fellow La Carlota bet and fourth seed Valerie Desoyo stunned top seed Averille Sacapano, 6-3, 6-1, to clinch the girls’ 14-and-U title.
No. 3 Shyryn Salazar also pounced on Sacapano to carve out a 7-5, 6-4 win and pocket the 12-and-U plum in the Group 3 tournament.
Meanwhile, Flores and Raymundo go for another sweep of their respective divisions as they head the cast in the second leg firing off Friday at the Center Court Tennis Court in Bacolod. For details, contact Philta referee Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.