Top juniors, local aces face test in PPS
(The Philippine Star) - December 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — John David Velez and Bliss Bayking set out against a crack set of rivals in their respective sides, including a slew of local bets out to fuel their own title drive in the PPS-PEPP Dagitab Festival national age-group tournament which got going yesterday at the City of Naga Tennis Courts in Cebu.

Velez and Bayking have dominated the premier division (18-and-under) majority of the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala tennis season but the young stars are in for a tough challenge with a host of title-hungry players out to foil their bid in the Group I tournament which drew a huge cast of over 250 entries in nine age-group categories.

But the likes of Venz Alforque, Eric Longakit, Mitch Largo and Vincent Canete are all geared up to defend their turf, coming into the event riding the momentum of their surprise victories in last week’s PPS-PEPP Mayor Junard Chan leg of the long-running talent-search presented by Dunlop.

Alforque joins Velez in the featured division that also includes Eric Tangub, Vinz Lominoque, Vincent Yamut and Cesar Salimbangon; Longakit and Largo are in the 16-U cast also led by Velez and Tangub; while Canete shoots for another reversal in the 12-U play the way he did in Lapu Lapu City last week.

Bayking also expects to have her hands full in the girls’ 18-U section with Mia Gemida and siblings Khymberly and Ashley McKenzie in the draw with the McKenzies and Gemida topbilling the 16-U category along with Claire Nocos and Hazel Coderos.

“The presence of the country’s top juniors are expected to fire up the locals,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

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