CAGAYAN de Oro’s Aubrey Calma led the charge of the old guns at the recently-concluded Marawi City leg of the Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group Championship Series, the country’s longest-running grassroots tennis developmental program by the private sector.
Calma copped both the 16 & under and 18 & under titles, beating separate opponents in the tournament backed by Dunlop as official ball, she swept another CDO bet, Casey Padilla, 6-4, 6-4 for the girls’ 16 & under crown and followed it with a systematic 6-1, 6-3 beating of again a CDO entry, Gennifer Lysandra Pagente. Zamboanga del Norte’s Sydney Ezra Enriquez continued her domination of the girls’ 14 & under in the region as she edged out Iligan City bet Rovie Baulete 6-2, 13-11.
In the boys’ side, it was Jose Ma. Pague’s turn to win the 18 & under as the Zamboanga Sibugay player had an easy 6-1, 6-1 victory over CDO’s Jonelle Christian Lavore while Cebu City’s multi-titled Marc Nicole Suson prevented a sweep for Pague by beating the latter 6-4, 5-7, 10-8 in a thrilling finals in the 16 & under category.
Another familiar name, Pagadian City’s Nilo Ledesma won the boys’ 14 & under title with a 6-0, 6-2 beating of Stephen Zion Guia from Dipolog while Brent Sigmond Cortes, who used to dominate the 10 & below group, added the 12 & under crown to his collection after defeating another familiar name, Oroquieta City pride Nash Agustines.
“The success of this series is its continuity in providing players regular tournaments to hone their skills and we have seen how these players have improved over the years,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president/CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier and current PHILTA chairman.
The other winners in the Marawi City leg that drew 151 entries were Iligan’s Miguel Iglupas, younger brother of national champion Kim, the younger Iglupas fashioned a 4-1, 5-4 victory over Lanao del Norte’s Kurt Gervan Bandolis in the 10 & under finals and ; Zamboanga del Sur’s Rica Labrador who beat Padilla 6-4, 6-4 for the girls’ 12 & under title.
Some new names who partnered with familiar ones emerged winners in the doubles event like Nicole Gatchalian and Annamae Mendoza in the girls 18& under doubles, Allen Gerry Manlangit who teamed up with Vincent Geo Serino for boys’ 18 & under crown, Cortes and his partner Uzzie Pepito took the boys’ 14 & under, while Bandolis and Rashid Lacman went home with the 10 & under title.