CEBU CITY, Philippines – The kids from Cebu dominated the kick-off of the 50-leg 12th Cebuana Lhuillier Age-Group Tennis Championships in Cebu City, bagging 5 of the 10 titles at stake at the Citigreen Tennis Resort Monday, January 29
Leading the Cebu champions were Marc Nicole Suson and Elizabeth Abarquez, who dominated the boys and girls 18 years old title, respectively.
Suson, the Philippines No. 4 in the boys under-18 by the Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP), routed Dipolog City’s Stephen Zion Guia, 6-3, 6-1, to snatch the crown. Suson was also named the tourney's Most Valuable Player.
Abarquez, the country's No. 3 in the under-18 girls, overwhelmed fellow Cebuano Pherl Bless Coderos, 6-2, 6-2, for the title.
Each earned 200 points for their feat as the tournament is rated a Group 1 Level by the UTP.
According to tournament director Mario Inguito Craiz, this is the first time that the Cebu leg was recognized a Group 1 event.
“The UTP has revised the ruling that only events with affiliation to internationally organized events can be given a Group 1 level,” said Craiz.
Craiz added that the UTP, a faction of the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta), is spreading the Group 1 level events all over the country so netters from provinces will get a chance to compete in a Group 1 tournament.
Previously, only Philta-sanctioned tournaments held in Manila were ranked Group 1 level.
The UTP however replaced this policy because not all tennis players could afford to go to Manila. The new set-up includes a Group 1 tournament each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao a Group 1 event.
Other Cebuanos who ruled their respective divisions were Tiffany Claire Nocos of Lapu-Lapu and Aaron Kevin Tabura and David Ezra Sepulveda, both of Pardo.
Nocos clinched the girls under-14 title by routing Ormoc City’s Corazon Lambonao II, 6-1, 6-0.
Top seeded Tabura, for his part, bagged the 10-under unisex title by outsmarting Garlandson Ardiente of Aurora, Zamboanga del Norte, 4-1, 4-0. Insipirng the 9-year-old Tabura was his mother Bing, a former tennis player who was now an OFW in Dubai but was now at home on vacation.
Sepulveda, a relative of Tabura, is the inaugural 8-under unisex champion, turning back Carlisle Cuizon of Lapu-Lapu, 4-1, 5-3.
The other 5 titles went to two netters from Lanao del Norte and Dumaguete City.
Tubod’s Brent Sigmond Cortes went home with two titles—the 14-under boys, defeating Nash Agustines of Oroquieta, 7-5, 6-3, and the 16-under boys, overwhelming Guia, 6-1, 6-3.
Heinz Aslan Carbonilla of Maranding outsmarted Reyman Saldivar Jr of Kabacan, North Cotabato, 6-1, 6-0, for the 12-under boys title.
Shara Louise Paliwag of Dumaguete City devastated fellow Dumagueteño Daveaine Therese Gauran, 6-3, 6-0, for the 12-under girls title.
And, Rovie Baulete of Iligan City brought home the 16-under girls title with a 6-3, 6-1 demolition of Nocos.
Suson also collected 18U boys doubles with his partner Cedrix Jhon Bravo. The duo engineered an 8-4 victory over Lemuel Garbosa and Rheyzel Fren Juaniza.
The 18U girls double title went to Nichole dela Rita and Shedel Aighey Gica following an 8-3 annihilation of Phel Hazel Coderos and Lyra Mae Ramirez.
Cortes partnered with Ashton Benne Villanueva to clinch the 14U boys doubles title via an 8-5 edging of Andre Sal Eugenio Lago and Alejandro Barrientos.
Lambonao and Kimberly McKenzie bagged the 14U girls doubles title with a commanding 8-1 demolition of Hela Riza Coderos and Kirsten Albofera.
The 10U unisex doubles title went to Tabura who partnered with John Kenneth Jumamoy to relegate the duo of Shara Louise Paliwag and Gauran, 5-3, 4-1, to the runner-up position.
The tournament will resume with six legs in February to be held in Zambales, Iloilo, Capiz, Quezon City and Ormoc.
Twenty of the 50 legs will be held in Luzon while the 30 is spread over the VisMin area. – Rappler.com