John David Velez and Tenielle Madis from M’lang hope to come out strong coming off a brief break as they head the huge cast vying in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Tagum leg age-group tennis circuit unfolding today (Friday) at the Tagum City Tennis Club in Davao del Norte.
Velez, one of Davao City’s rising stars who has posted a number of victories in the circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop, gains the top seeding in both the boys’ 14- and 16-and-under divisions but faces a slew of equally talented rivals out to foil his bid.
They include Michael Padao, Karl Palo and Cedric Pamplona in both categories along with Rayman Saldivar and Al Anana, who are competing in the 14-U play of the Group 2 tournament presented by Slazenger with Dunlop as the official ball which drew over 200 entries vying in nine singles and five doubles events.
Madis, on the other hand, hopes to stamp her classes again in girls’ 12- and 14-U sides with Jillian Manangking, Angelie Ripdos, Jasmen Kadalum also seeking to score a “double” in the week-long event sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines, made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
“While these two rising young stars have proved themselves in past tournaments, we expect them to face stiff resistance from a host of others who have trained to get a crack at the crown and ranking points,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Focus will also be on Jazzell Madis and Belle Colata who are tipped to dispute the girls’ 18-U crown with Avril Anito, Lyza Colina, Manilyn Solarte and Manangking bracing for a fierce duel in the 16-U class.
Earl Bermudez and Bruce Hurtado, meanwhile, banner the field in the boys’ 18-U that also includes Ali Baser and Lawrence Colina, while Saldivar, Wayne Jumawan, Ben Flores and Patrick Cabanting are expected to dispute the 12-U plum.
Meanwhile, listup for the next stop of the year-long, nationwide talent search on March 15-19 in Davao is ongoing. For details, call PPS Sports Program Development director and event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.