LOCAL netters from host province Leyte dominated the conclusion of the Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group Tennis Championship Series leg in Ormoc City as young players from Baybay and Sogod crushed their opponents, with the host city just winning one category and Cebu City the only non-Leyte based city capturing a lone title.
Anica Georgia Cari from Baybay City and Sal Andrei Lago, who hails from Sogod, led the charge as they won back-to-back individual titles, even as Lago shared with Dwayne Faelnar the boys’ 14-under doubles’ crown.
Lago also took the boys’ 14-under title with an easy 6-1, 6-1 victory over Faelnar and duplicated the feat with another straight set win, 6-4, 6-0 over Cedrix John Bravo in the finals of the boys’ 16-under of the tournament also backed by Dunlop Sports as the official ball.
Cari took out separate opponents in the girls’ 16- and 18-under categories for her twin victories, beating Ormoc bet Mia Geniday, 6-2, 6-1 in the younger category and visiting Cebu City player Pherl Bless Coderos, 7-5, 6-0, in the 18-under.
Other Baybay players, who struck for gold were Aaliyah Bandalan who copped the girls’ 14-under title with a close 7-6, 7-5 win over local bet Corazon Lambunao; and Thirdy Jocson, who posted a 4-0, 2-4, 4-0 victory over Christian Estrada from Maasin for the 10-under unisex crown.
“This leg in Leyte shows that the province alone has a lot of potentials as far as young tennis talents are concerned. The fact that most of the winners were not familiar names confirm this,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, President/CEO of the sponsoring Cebuana Lhuillier Group and who initiated this grassroots tennis developmental program 12 years ago.
Neous Elna Beronio was the other winner from Sogod as she ruled the girls’ 12-under, disposing of Cebu City’s Hela Riza Coderos, 6-1, 6-0, in the finals.
Ormoc’s lone winner was Gerald Gemida, who edged out Maasin’s Ruzzel bert Manlimos, 6-3, 3-6, 10-7, in the championship match of the boys’ 12-under, while multi titlist Marc Nicole Suson was the only non-Leyteno, who emerged winner as he reasserted his supremacy in the boys’ 18-under after retiring Bravo in a 6-1 first-set win.