Fancied Norman Enriquez and doubles partner Jose Maria Pague dispatched their respective rivals in lopsided fashions as they moved into the quarterfinals of the Buglasan Festival National Open Tennis Championships at the Praxevilla hard courts in Dumaguete City last Sunday.
The top two seeds came out strong after drawing opening round byes with Enriquez trouncing Daniel Dag-oman, 4-0, 4-0, and Pague dropping just one game on his way to a 4-1, 4-0 rout of Christian Antiquina in the lower half of the 32-player draw.
But No. 3 Mclean Barraquias and fourth-ranked John Tomacruz likewise pulled off a pair of straight-set wins to fan their respective title bids and foil the projected Enriquez-Pague duel in the week-long event held as part of what has long been known as the “festival of festivals” in Negros Oriental.
Barraquias crushed Kyle Ongue, 4-0, 4-0, while Tomacruz went through some anxious moments before holding off last week’s Puerto Princesa junior champion Mcleen Gomera, 4-2, 5-3, as they stayed in the hunt for the top P15,000 purse in the tournament presented by Dunlop.
Jess Tayros, meanwhile, subdued Inno Solon, 5-3, 4-2, to arrange a quarters showdown with Enriquez while Neekho Salas clipped Dale Estonilo, 4-1, 4-1, for a crack at the semis against Barraquias in the event also held as part of the Palawan Pawnshop circuit put up by president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Meanwhile, Enriquez and Pague, who reached the semis in the Puerto Princesa Open ruled by Johnny Arcilla, banner the men’s doubles cast that also includes the pairs of Barraquias-Kenneth Banico, Estonilo-Jun Tabura and Stephen Guia-Roy Tan.
This week’s hostilities, backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating), also feature the Legends 45s men’s singles and the 40s and 50s men’s and women’s doubles while the junior action fires off Thursday. For details, contact Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.