Vince Serna hopes to start strong coming off a break, eyeing to score a repeat of his Sindangan feat in the PPS-PEPP national age group tennis circuit, which got going at the Maranding, Lala courts in Lanao del Norte last Monday.
The unranked Serna from Butuan stunned top seed Thomas Gabuat, 6-2, 2-6, 10-6, to snare the boys’ 18-and-under crown two weeks ago but skipped the next two legs in Labason and Liloy, making him A-ready and fresh for another title crack in the Group 2 tournament presented by Dunlop.
Now ranked No. 2 in the 32-player field headed by Gabuat, Serna is tipped to get past his rivals in the lower half of the draw for another possible encounter with the Zambo Sibugay ace, who has dominated the 16- and 18-U divisions in Dipolog, Labason and Liloy.
But Gabuat also braces for a rough sailing in the 16-U play with the likes of Cyril Paster, Kurt Bandolis, Pete Bandala and Benedict Lim all going all out to stop his domination in the Mindanao swing of the country’s longest-running age-grouper put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Next up is the Misamis Oriental leg in Oroquieta City on May 4-6. For details and registration, contact event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
AJ Acabo, also from Zambo Sibugay, tries to make it two-in-row over top seed Ma. Judyann Padilla from Ozamiz in the premier class in the distaff side after the former toppled the latter in Liloy via a thrilling 6-4, 4-6, 12-10 decision.
They are also expected to dispute the 16-U diadem with Sindangan’s Marlyn Mesiona and Christine Gulagula raring to spring a surprise in the three-day ranking tournament sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).