Bona, Diaz lead chase in Olivarez netfest

The Philippine Star
Bona, Diaz lead chase in Olivarez netfest

MANILA, Philippines — Kendrick Bona and Jana Diaz face uphill battles in the Mayor Eric Olivarez National Juniors Tennis Championships of the PPS-PEPP Circuit, which got under way yesterday with another huge field in Sucat, Parañaque.

The 304-player draw in nine age-group categories surpassed the 272 entries in last week’s Rep. Marlyn Alonte-Naguiat’s tournament in Biñan, Laguna where Bona and Diaz shared MVP honors after sweeping the boys’ and girls’ 16- and 18-and-under singles titles, respectively.

To accommodate the big number of participants, PPS-PEPP Sports Program Development director and tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay said they are using both the Parañaque Tennis Club courts and the main venue at the Olivarez Sports Center for the week-long Group 1 tournament.

The chase for the boys’ 16-and-under title is expected to be fierce with Bona bannering the 64-player draw that includes Reign Maravilla, Ariel Cabaral, Tristan Licayan, Samuel Davila, Andrew Serohijos and siblings Frank and France Dilao.

Bona also braces for a big Vince Serna rebound after the top-seeded bet bowed to Cabaral, 2-6, 3-6, in the 18-and-U semis last week and the former easing past Kale Villamar, 6-2, 6-0, and then routing Cabaral, 6-1, 6-2, in the finals.

Bona, from Puerto Princesa, earlier took the 16-and-U trophy with a 6-1, 2-0 (ret.) win over Licayan.

Diaz, from Bacoor, Cavite, mastered Sandra Bautista twice, carving out a 6-4, 6-4 decision in 16-and-under and scoring a 6-2, 6-2 romp for the 18-and-U crown in the event which served as part of the country’s nationwide circuit put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Licayan, the 14-and-under winner in Biñan, also guns for a repeat against Yñigo Naredo, Aljhon Rombawa, John David Vytiaco, Dean Palaroan, Prince Cuenza, Jacob Gonzales and Anthony Cosca while Maristella Torrecampo leads the chase in the girls’ side minus last week’s winner Joy Ansay.

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