BRICE BAISA kept his dominant run in the Palawan Pawnshop junior tennis circuit by sweeping the boys’ 16-under and 18-under crowns in the Zentro National Championships in Apalit, Pampanga, over the weekend for his sixth straight two-title romp.
Sustaining his superb brand of play, the third-ranked Baisa, 16, toppled top seed Frank Dilao, 6-0, 6-3, to rule his age-group category in the Group I tournament presented by Dunlop then lived up to his top billing in the premier class with a decisive 6-1, 6-1 victory over the No. 2 Dilao at the Zentro Recreational Events courts.
The Puerto Princesa City find stretched his record run following his domination of the Iloilo, Roxas City, Bacolod, Imus and Cainta legs of the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.
Bautista also stamped her class in the girls’ side, yielding just four games in three matches to clinch the 16-under trophy, capped by a 6-1, 6-1 win over Ave Policarpio in the finals. The Imus, Cavite ace proved a lot tougher in 18-under play, giving up just two games against three rivals to reign, including a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Althea Liwag in the championship to share MVP honors with Baisa.
Also posting top podium finishes in the week-long tournament—backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating—are 14-under winners Aljhon Rombawa and Cadee Dagoon, 12-under champions Dean Palaroan and Ayl Gonzaga, and 10-under unisex titlist Andrei Torrente.
The unranked Rombawa from San Pablo, Laguna ripped No. 2 John David Vytiaco, 4-0, 4-0, in the quarters, clipped Raffy Pagtalunan, 6-0, 6-2, in the semis then upended top seed Zachary Morales, 6-7(4), 6-0, 10-8; while the No. 1 Dagoon from Olongapo City thwarted second ranked Erynne Ong in a duel of nerves, 6-4, 7-6(3).
The top-seeded Palaroan from Sta. Rosa, Laguna recovered from a second set struggle and stopped No. 2 Marcus Go, 6-2, 0-6, 10-3, while the second ranked Gonzaga from Zambales turned back No. 1 Kylie Cautivo, 7-5, 6-2, and No. 3 Torrente from Olongapo City trounced top seed Grey Caro, 5-3, 4-0, in the semis then overpowered Kian Cansana, 4-0, 4-0.
Sharing the spotlight are doubles winners Jairus Peralta and Torrente (10-unisex), Rombawa and Pagtalunan (boys’ 14-U), Gonzaga and Ong (girls’ 14-U), Dilao siblings Frank and France (boys’ 18-U), and Liwag and Xophia Oliveros (girls’ 18-U).