Velez racks up 3 PPS Davao titles

JOHN David Velez flashed superb skills and staying power, coming away with a three-title romp in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Davao leg age-group tennis circuit at the GSIS Tennis Club last Monday.

Velez fashioned out a 6-1, 6-1 victory in the boys’ 14-and-under finals then scored a 6-1, 6-0 win in the 16-U championship, both against Karl Palo. The rising Davaoeño star then trampled Meynard Badal, 6-1, 6-1, to claim the 18-U diadem in the Group 1 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger with Dunlop as the official ball.

Minette Bentillo fell short of matching that feat but the Sultan Kudarat find still shared the MVP honors with Velez by winning the girls’ 14- and 16-U titles in the five-day event sanctioned by the Unified Tennis Philippines, made up of PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg.
As top seed, Bentillo dominated Jilian Manangking, 6-1, 6-1, in the 14-U side then took the 16-U plum as an unranked player via a 6-1, 6-2 upset over No. 1 Paula Uy.

She, however, lost steam and dropped a 6-1, 1-0(ret.) setback to local ace Dana Abad in the 18-U championship.

“Through hard work and determination, Velez has been stamping his class even in heavier division and his exploits should inspire the other young players to strive more by regularly competing in the circuit,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Mlang’s Tenielle Madis, meanwhile, bagged the girls’ 12-U crown with a 6-1, 6-1 rout of Angelie Ripdos with Reyman Saldivar from Kabacan taking the boys’ diadem with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Andrei Buyante. Kidapawan’s Kael Palo pocketed the 10-unisex title with a 4-2, 4-1 win over Andrei Mateo.

Velez actually made it a four-title feat as he teamed up with Bruce Hurtado to edge Lawrence Colina and EJ Casas, 8-5, to nail the 18-U doubles plum with Abad and Winona Cabardo topping the girls’ side with an 8-3 victory over Bentillo and Uy.

Other doubles winners were Kenny Sing-Roddick Litang and Madis-Shoeloh Ripdos (14-U), and James Aquino-Andrei Mateo (10-U).

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