Unranked Zkyla Cervantes pulled off a pair of tough wins over fancied rivals to grab the spotlight with Reyman Saldivar Jr. in the PPS-PEPP Kabacan National age group 2019 at the Kabacan Tennis Club in North Cotabao yesterday.
While local bet Salvidar lived up to his top billing to dominate the boys’ 14- and 16-and-under singles play, Cervantes stunned top seed Ysay Ysulat of Kabacan in the semis, 6-3, 6-1, then blasted No. 2 Joyce Saldivar, 6-1, 6-0, to capture the girls’ 16-U diadem.
The Alamada, North Cotabato find later held off top seed Jonn Nadela, 6-1, 6-4, for the 18-U crown in the Group 2 tournament hosted by Mayor Herlo Guzman Jr. and sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop Palawan Express Pera Padala.
Reyman Saldivar earlier toppled Malaybalay’s Al Rasheed Lucman, 6-3, 6-3, in the 14-U finals then whipped Joross Manangking, 6-2, 6-0, to nail the 16-U plum and share the MVP honors with Cervantes in the third of the six-leg Mindanao swing of the circuit presented by Dunlop.
“Cervantes’ victories further underscored the PPS-PEPP’s circuit’s thrust of producing fresh talents, especially in the countryside which we believe has so many promising players waiting to be tapped and developed,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Other winners were Kabacan’s Yusuf Maldo (10-unisex), Lucman (boys’ 12-U), Koronadal’s Bruce Hurtado (boys’ 18-U), Jeanne Rayray (girls’ 12-U) and Ysulat (14-U). Maldo survived Cian Ramirez, 5-4(5), 2-4, 5-4(5); Lucman upset No. 2 Jason Flores, 7-5, 6-1; Hurtado crushed Steve Aton, 6-0, 6-2; Rayray stopped Marial Betita, 6-2, 6-0; and Ysulat subdued Joyce Saldivar, 6-3, 6-1.
Reyman Saldivar and Cervantes actually finished with three titles each with the former also ruling the 14-U doubles and the latter topping the 18-U side.
Meanwhile, Kidapawan City will host the next stop on Feb. 21-25 with the fifth and sixth legs slated in Digos City on Feb. 28-March 4 and Tagum City on March 7-11, respectively.
For details and listup, call PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.