THE big guns in the region took over at the recent Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group Tennis Championship Series leg in Maranding in Lanao del Norte, where a total of 142 young players joined the competition with the series now on its 12th straight year, making it the country’s longest-running grassroots tennis developmental program.
Local bet and many-time leg winner Heinz Asian Carbonilla led the way with three titles under his belt, the boys’ 12-under and 14-under plus a share of the boys’ 14-under doubles’ event with John Steven Sonsona. He blanked Abdel Qadzri Matarul from Pulacan 6-0, 6-0 for the 12-under and had a similar straight set 6-0, 6-1 win over John Christopher Sonsona in the finals of the 14-under in the competition backed by Dunlop Sports as official ball.
Another perennial winner Stephen Zion Guia won the boys’ 16-under though he was extended to three sets by finals opponent Eric Jay Tangub from Tukuran, 7-6, 5-7, 10-8.
Andrei Cuevas from Baroy, Lanao del Norte continued Tangub’s frustrations when he beat the latter anew in the finals of the boys’ 18-under, 7-5, 6-4.
Cuevas added another title when he and partner Geo Serino ruled the boys’ 18-under doubles’ category.
“Over the years, we have seen the development of young champions like Carbonilla, who started in younger categories and moving up and winning the older categories, clearly showing the development in the skills level of players who regularly join our series,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, President/CEO of the sponsoring Cebuana Lhuillier Group.
In the distaff side, Ozamis City bet Carmeville Gervacio stamped her class again in the girls’ 18-under with a victory over another Ozamis City native Jan Marie Anghag , 6-4, 6-7, 10-4. The two teamed up to clinch the girls’ 18-under doubles’ championship.
Iligan City’s Rovie Baulete showed up Annamae Mendoza, 6-2, 6-2, for the girls 16-under crown.
A double winner among the girls was Angel Denopol from Kolambugan, who defeated Kimberly Vosotros, 6-0, 6-0, in the finals of the 12-under and later on partnered with Gerly Mae Insing to win the girls’ 14-under doubles’ title.