MANILA, Philippines - Young Jyle Cyrin Martinez and Minette April Bentillo produced resounding victories while Shaira Rivera came away with two wins in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age-group tennis circuit presented by Technifibre in Digos City, Davao del Sur yesterday.
The fourth-ranked Martinez, priming up for the Palarong Pambansa in May, shocked top seed Stephen Tubbs in the semis, 3-6, 6-4, 10-8, then subdued Ramon Wilfred Bentillo in the finals, 6-2, 7-5, to pocket the boys’ 14-and-under crown.
“I prepared and trained hard for this tournament,” said the left-handed Martinez, 13, who has the skills and height to make it big in the sport. The Digos City prides aims at making it to the Davis Cup team in the future.
He also vied in the 16- and 18-and-U classes and humbled older rivals to reach the semifinal stage in both divisions of the event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and Technifibre and sanctioned by Philta headed by president and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
The No. 2 Bentillo, also gearing up for Palaro as Region XII representative, upended top seed Jessica Carvueva, 6-1, 6-1, to snare the girls’ 12-and-U title. The eight-year-old find from Sultan Kudarat also made it to the semis of the 12-and-U class of the tournament, which drew another huge field of over 200 participants.
“I really wanted to excel in tennis and be able to play in big tournaments in Manila some day,” said Bentillo, the youngest Mindanao bet who has been training with brother Ramon Wilfred at Sultan Kudarat’s Old Capitol tennis courts during breaks in school.
“The huge turnout continues to inspire us to support and hold this series of ranking tournaments among our youth, especially in the countryside. With the Palawan Pawnshop circuit, we are confident of producing top-notch players in the future,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.
Joel Cantilla retained the boys’ premier 18-and-U crown via default as AJ Alejandre sustained a groin injury and was forced to withdraw. Alejandre earlier handed the 16-and-U trophy to Lordrenz Pacheco, 7-6(6), 3-3 (ret.).
Red Directo trounced John Velez, 6-2, 6-2, to clinch the boys’ 12-and-U diadem while Velez foiled Bentillo, 6-3, 0-6, 10-6, to pocket the 10-unisex plum, and Rachel Patricia Velez took the girls’ 14-and-U crown with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Ma. Angela Novis.