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Velez, Novis share spotlight at PPS-PEPP MCF

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Local star John David Velez and Ma. Angelica Novis scored a pair of emphatic victories to share MVP honors in the PPS-PEPP MCF Global National tennis tournament at the GSIS Tennis Club in Davao City last Monday.

Velez stayed hot despite coming off a long break from the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala circuit, dropping just 14 games in four matches to capture the boys’ 16-and-under crown via a 6-1, 6-3 result over Andrei Lago in the final.

He proved more imposing in the premier 18-U side, blasting Nikhel Nowlakha, 6-1, 6-1, to complete a two-title romp in the Group 1 event staged as part of the Davao City’s 82nd anniversary celebrations and held in partnership with the Mac’s Crankit Foundation, a non-profit organization from Australia whose aim is to help change lives and empower underprivileged communities through sports.

Novis, meanwhile, kept her impressive run in the girls’ division of the nationwide circuit presented by Dunlop, crushing Coleen Carvajal twice to sweep the 16-U (6-3, 6-2) and 18-U (6-1, 6-3) diadems, her third straight after pulling off similar feats in the Digos and Tagum stops of the Mindanao swing of the circuit sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.

“While Velez and Novis kept their win run going, new faces continued to emerge which should serve as motivation for the other bidders and further boost our talent-search,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Other singles winners were Cian Ramirez from Kabacan (10-unisex), Kendrick Bona from Puerto Princesa and member of the MCTA, Davao’s Andre Sing (boys’ 14-U), Tagum’s Chelsea Bernaldez (girls’ 12-U) and Juliana Carvajal from Digos (girls’ 14-U).

Ramirez upended top seed Pete Bandala, 4-0, 4-2, in the semis then beat No. 2 Yusuf Maldo, 4-2, 4-2; No. 2 Bona held off Raphael Duay, 6-2, 7-5; Sing ripped Reyman Saldivar Jr., 6-1, 6-2; Bernaldez clobbered Mae Anoba, 6-1, 6-3; and Carvajal defeated Jemarie Manggarai, 6-2, 6-4.

Sharing the spotlight were men’s doubles Legends winners Edgar Quinones and Ken Mamontuan, who edged Renato dela Cruz and Jojo Idpan, 8-5, in the 40s; Roland Diamante and Quinones, who nipped Arnold Sarabia and dela Cruz, 8-6, in the 50s; and Gabriel Perez and Bando Cariga, who repulsed Jonathan Palac and Rogelio Estano. 8-4, in the Open division.

Velez and Novis actually ended up with three titles each as they also topped the 18-U doubles with the former teaming up with Nowlakha to foil Kobe Dumlao and Carlos Santiago, 8-4, and the latter and partner Zylaka Cervantes thwarting siblings Juliana and Coleen Carvajal, 8-6.

Other doubles victors were Juliana Carvajal and Manggarai, and Bona and Lago (14-U) and Johnel Maldo and Cian Ramirez (10-U).For details, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

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