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3-division tilt kicks off PPS new season

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A mix of the young and old, plus the current crop, gears up for a fierce battle in the next two weeks as the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala tennis tournament kicks off its new season today with the Actifit Open national age-grouper in Valenzuela City.

Alexa Milliam, who dominated the last quarter of last year’s edition of the country’s biggest talent-search, banners the cast in the girls’ 14- and 16-and-under divisions, upbeat but wary of her chances against a souped up field in the Group 1 tournament presented by Dunlop.

Mariel Jarata, Mica Emana and Jiana Hernandez set out to stop the Pontevedra, Negros Occidental ace in the 14-U section while Franchezka Malaki, Romika Custodio and Hernandez are tipped to spoil Milliam’s bid in the 16-U category of the week-long event which drew 200 players in nine age-group divisions at the Actifit Sports Center.

The event, co-organized by John Mari Altiche, will also feature the Legends division to be played on Jan. 19-20 and Jan. 26-27 with the men’s and women’s Open, featuring some of the country’s leading players, capping the two-week meet on Jan. 21-27.

“We have lined up a record 70-leg circuit this year that will keep our age-groupers busy, particularly those from the countryside where talents are waiting to be tapped and developed,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Action shifts to Mindanao on Jan. 31-Feb. 4 with Isulan, Sultan Kudarat and Kabacan, North Cotabato hosting the next two legs of circuit sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.

For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

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