Manangking, Otoc triumph

JILLIAM MANANGKING dominated the girls’ 16- and 18-under divisions while Andrei Otoc pulled off a shock win in boys’ 12-under play as they shared Most Valuable Player honors in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) Pigcawayan national age-group tennis tournament in Cotabato last Friday.

The top-seeded Manangking mastered Saschena Francisco twice, bagging the premier title with a 6-1, 6-3 romp after posting a 6-4, 6-4 triumph in the 16-under class in the Group 2 tournament wrapping up the Cotabato swing of the country’s longest-talent search put up by PPS-PEPP at the Pigcawayan courts.

Manangking, from Pikit, Cotabato, ended Dhea Cua’s impressive run of two-title romps, foiling her, 6-0, 1-6, 10-5, in the semis of 16-under play although the Kidapawan City find still kept the 14-under trophy with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Jannah Mamac.

Divine Collado from Libungan, also added the girls’ 12-under trophy to her collection as she turned back top seed Ayessa Gilbang, 6-4, 6-4.

Otoc earlier rallied from a set down to repel top seed Carl Eduarte, 5-7, 6-4, 11-9, and snare the crown after the local bet missed his chances in the 14-under division with a semifinal setback to Iñigo Barrios.

But Johnel Maldo foiled Barrios with a 6-2, 6-0 triumph while fellow Kabacan entry RJ Saldivar finally nailed one after a string of failed bids, thwarting Ben Flores, 6-3, 3-6, 10-5, in the boys’ 16-U finals of the tournament put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.

Butuan’s Vince Serna lived up to the hype as he trounced Kent Hornada, 6-4, 6-2, to capture the boys’ 18-under title in the event presented by Dunlop and backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating.