Mcleen Gomera nailed a third crown in as many starts, including a sweep of the boys’ 16- and 18-and-under trophies, while Therese Gauran shone in the girls’ side of the PPS-PEPP Mayor Luigi Goñi national tennis juniors championships at the Bais City Tennis Club courts in Negros Oriental over the weekend.
Gomera lived up to his billing in the two top divisions of the Group 2 tournament but needed to grind it out before snaring the 16-U title, surviving fourth seed Kurt Barrera, 6-7(4), 7-5, 10-6, in the semis before subduing No. 2 Ariel Cabaral, 6-3, 4-6, 10-4, in another tense-filled duel.
The rising Lanao del Norte star, however, settled down in the tougher 18-U category, holding off No. 4 Herman Illusorio, 6-2, 7-6(3), in the semis before blasting second-ranked Vince Serna, 6-4, 6-1, to complete a two-title romp following his victory in the 16-U division of the Masters Top 8 in Negros Occidental last month.
Gauran, on the other hand, foiled Aleeva Suace, 7-6(5), 6-2, in the 18-U finals in a victory that more than made up for her 1-6, 2-6 setback to top seed Louise Paliwag in the 16-U championship of the event hosted by Mayor Luigi Goñi and presented by Dunlop.
The Taysan, Negros Oriental native’s 1-2 finish in the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro proved enough to net her a share of MVP honors with Gomera.
Other winners were Lanao’s Benedict Lim and Queen Villa from La Carlota, Taysan’s Callao and Rousey Paliwag from Valencia, Negros, and Clemente Barrera III, also from Taysan.
Lim clobbered Andrian Rodriguez, 6-0, 6-2, while Villa crushed Beatrice Mongcal, 6-0, 6-0, for the 14-U titles; Callao routed Gabria Serillo, 6-0, 6-3, while No. 2 Rousey Paliwag upended top seed Alexa Cruspero, 6-0, 3-6, 10-3, for the 12-U diadems; and Barrera smothered David Gauran, 4-1, 4-1, in the 10-U division of the event backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).
Meanwhile, women’s tennis takes center stage as the first Rina Cañiza Open got under Monday at the PCA courts in Plaza Dilao with the singles and doubles competitions on tap. The National Collegiate Championship, featuring team and individual competitions, will start Feb. 13. For details, contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.