Local ace Samantha Ortega upended top seed Mary Brigoli in a grueling three-set quarterfinal battle then went on to capture the girls’ 18-and-under singles crown with a 6-0, 6-2 romp over Vinz Penalosa and complete a “double” in the PPS-PEPP Mayor Aljun Diamante national juniors tennis tournament in Tuburan, Cebu over the weekend.
After besting Donna Mae Diamante, 6-4, 6-1, in the 16-U finals at the Roy Tabotabo clay courts, Ortega got past Gesellyn Constancio. 4-1, 4-1, in the first round in 18-U play then pulled off a 4-0, 2-4, 10-7 victory over Brigoli before ripping Jamie Carmona, 6-1, 6-2, in the semis. She then dominated Penalosa in a duel of unranked bets after the latter bundled out second seed Cheska Mamac, 6-4, 6-2, in their side of the semis duel.
Claudwin Toñacao, on the other hand, posted a victory and a runner-up finish in the boys’ side to share the MVP honors with Ortega in the Group 2 tournament held as part of the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. The Bogo, Cebu bet held off Andrio Estrella, 6-3, 6-3, in the 12-U finals but yielded to Al Jose Gairanot, Jr. of Cebu City, 0-6, 2-6, in the 14-U championship.
Other winners in the week-long event staged to boost the host city’s sports development program through the efforts of Mayor Diamante were Danao, Cebu’s Kate Imalay; Tuburan’s Thea Castro; Toledo, Cebu’s Miecoz Candelasa; and Ariel Cabaral of Bais City.
The top-seeded Imalay routed Donna Diamante, 6-1, 6-1, for the girls’ 14-U title; Castro blasted Danica Diamante, 6-0, 6-3, for the girls’ 12-U crown; Candelasa downed Benedict Goco, 6-2, 6-1, for the boys’ 18-U diadem; and top-ranked Cabaral survived No. 3 Juvels Velos, 2-6, 6-4, 10-8, for the boys’ 16-U trophy.
Sharing the spotlight were Legends men’s doubles winners Cliff Acaso and Nino Villaceran (40s), and Roy Tabotabo and Titus Tabotabo (50s); Legends men’s champions Acaso (35) and Roy Tabotabo (45).
Meanwhile, junior action moves to Luzon for the PPS-PEPP Imus, Cavite on April 20-24 with Lucena hosting the next stop on April 27-30 and Cainta, Rizal staging the Open, Juniors and Legends from May 1 to 14. Olivarez Sports Center will host the next juniors tilt on May 18-22 before hostilities move to Zentro, Pampanga on May 25-29.
For details and listup, contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.