ALEXA Milliam hacked out a pair of tough victories, including a come-from-behind win in the girls’ 14-and-under class as she shared top honors with Drixcyn Guillano in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala San Carlos leg regional tennis 2016 at the Sakata Tennis Club in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental last Monday.
The 12-year-old Milliam, one of the rising stars from La Carlota, subdued Jufe-an Cocoy, 6-4, 6-3, in the 12-U finals then went one division higher to upend Kianna De Asis, 2-6, 7-6(3), 10-5, for the 14-U crown, emerging the lone “double” winner in the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
The fourth ranked Milliam earlier toppled top seed Bliss Bayking, 1-6, 6-2, 12-10, in the semis to gain a crack at the third seeded De Asis in the week-long top-ranking event sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger, the official ball, and held as part of the host city’s Pintaflores Festival.
Guillano also shocked top seed Khenz Justiniani, 6-1, 6-3, in the semis then the Roxas City, Capiz ace crushed No. 2 Pete Rodriguez, 6-2, 6-3, to capture the boys’ 12-U plum in the event which drew a record close to 300 entries in nine age group categories.
“Winning two titles in such a big field speaks well of Milliam’s caliber. And with a number of reversals posted in this top ranking event, the future of Philippine tennis looks bright indeed with so many young talents emerging,” said Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.
Top seed Elsie Abarquez from Carcar, Cebu held off Gennifer Pagente of Cagayan de Oro in the second set and came away with a 6-0, 7-5 victory in the girls’ 18-U finals to atone for her 5-7, 6-4, 7-10 setback to the latter in the 16-U finals while No. 2 Vince Tugade of Sultan Kudarat wore down top seed Cenon Gonzales, 4-6, 6-2, 10-8, to clinch the boys’ title in the event backed by San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr., councilor Criston Carmona, former Rep. Julius Ledesma IV and Vice Gov. Bong Lacson along with the LGUs of San Carlos.
NCR’s Marcus del Rosario took the boys’ 16-U plum with an emphatic 6-2, 6-1 romp over Kylde Lagarde while Venz Alforque from Naga City, Cebu dominated the 14-U side with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph over Allain Ocat.
La Carlota’s Jovanni Dimate carved out a 4-1, 4-2 victory over Niel Badal to nail the 10-unisex crown.