THE leading juniors and a slew of rising stars from Metro Manila and elsewhere take center stage as they clash for top honors and ranking points in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) Valle Verde Country Club National Juniors Tennis Championships, which got under way Thursday in Pasig City.
More than 200 entries make up the huge cast in the nine age-category Group I tournament presented by Dunlop with the boys’ 14-, 16- and 18-under classes luring 32-player casts each.
Tristan Licayan, Lexious Cruz, Gavin Kraut, Zachary Morales, Gabrio Serillo and Yñigo Naredo banner the 14-under field, while Kendrick Bona, Paul Gabriel, Licayan and Morales, along with Kean Enriquez and Kraut looming as the players to watch in the 16-under division.
Vince Serna, Mateo Rivas, Ivan Manila and Thomas Bernardo brace for a spirited battle in the premier division of the event under the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.
The title chase in the distaff side is also expected to be wide-open with Chloe Mercado, Jelena Jana, Beatrice Panganiban and Sandra Bautista gearing up for a challenging week as they lead the field in both the 16- and 18-under divisions.
Maristella Torrecampo, Ave Policarpio, Francesca Ong and Dania Bulanadi, on the other hand, are in for a fierce battle in the girls’ 14-under class with Torrecampo also eyeing a “twinkill” as she is also the top seed in the 12-under play of the event backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating.
For details, contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
Leading the boys’ 12-uner cast are Serillo, siblings Alexandre and Aaron Coyiuto and Mikael Honrado while Naseem Serillo, Sofia Miramontes, Stella Policarpio and Juliana Coyiuto are tipped to dispute the 10-unisex trophy.