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Chelsea Bernaldez clips top seed, sweeps PPS-PEPP Davao titles

Second-ranked Chelsea Bernaldez secured another victory over No. 1 Sanschena Francisco for the second consecutive time, prevailing with a 6-3, 6-4 decision in the girls’ 18-and-under finals.

This impressive win took place during the Gov. Edwin Jubahib National Juniors Tennis Championships in Tagum, Davao del Norte over the weekend.

Bernaldez’s victory followed her triumph over the Isulan, Sultan Kudarat ace, with a score of 2-6, 6-2, 10-7, in the Mati, Davao Oriental leg crown of the premier age-group category of the Group 2 series.

This victory completed her sweep of the three-leg swing in the Davao region, which is part of the country’s longest talent search presented by Dunlop.

Bernaldez faced a challenging match against AJ Acabo, narrowly defeating her with a score of 5-7, 6-1, 10-8, in the championship of the Maragusan, Davao de Oro leg of the series under the PPS-PEPP program established by Palawan Pawnshop President/CEO Bobby Castro.

However, Bernaldez couldn’t replicate her two-title feat in Mati, as she was edged out by third-ranked Dhea Cua in the 16-and-under semifinals with a score of 6-4, 2-6, 10-7.

Subsequently, Kidapawan City’s rising star, Dhea Cua, defeated Faith Lazaro with a score of 6-3, 6-1, to claim the crown.

In the boys’ competition, Gil Niere, hailing from Bogo City, Cebu, secured the boys’ 12-and-under trophy with a 7-6(1), 6-1 victory over Matt Docena.

He also earned a runner-up finish in the 14-and-under division, which was dominated by Vanzidrick Rosalinda from Maragusan, who won for the third consecutive time with a score of 6-1, 6-2. Rosalinda defeated Rodney Montegrande with a score of 6-3, 6-0, in Maragusan.

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He then overcame Dexter Salcedo with a score of 4-6, 6-1, 10-3, in Mati.

Niere’s victory and runner-up finish earned him the MVP award in his division of the competition during the week-long event sponsored by Gov. Edwin Jubahib.

Other winners included Aika Salahudin from Digos City, Justine Gumbao from Sultan Kudarat, RB John Lataza from Cebu City, Jason Battad from Tagum, and Kresthan Belacas from M’lang, North Cotabato.

Salahudin outlasted Mariam Mokalam in a thrilling match, winning 6-2, 3-6, 14-12, in the girls’ 14-and-under category. Gumbao dominated Shan Tuyor with a score of 6-1, 6-1, in the girls’ 12-and-under category.

Lataza narrowly defeated RJ Judabal in another intense match, 3-6, 6-3, 11-9, in the boys’ 18-and-under category. Battad repelled Bench Neri with a score of 6-4, 7-5, in the boys’ 16-and-under category.

Belacas completed a hat trick in the 10-unisex category with a 5-3, 4-1 victory over Pete Niere.

Cua and Francisco emerged victorious in the doubles competition, narrowly defeating Jasmen Kadalum and Jillian Manangking with a score of 8-7(7). Meanwhile, Battad and Judabal secured the 18-and-under doubles honors with a convincing victory of 8-3 over Lataza and Randy Pausanos.

In the girls’ 14-and-under doubles, Marian Mokalam and Salahudin defeated Gumbao and Wendelyn Anino with a score of 8-2. In the 14-and-under boys’ doubles, Nico Puertos and Dexter Salcedo outlasted Gil and Pete Niere with a score of 8-6.

Belacas concluded his remarkable campaign by winning the 10-unisex doubles title with Francis Dimzon, securing an 8-4 triumph over Enzo and Pete Niere.

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