MANILA, (PNA)– So young and promising, 11-year old Carlyn Bless Guarde swept three titles in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala presented by Babolat tennis tournament, including the 16-and-under crown at the Kidapawan City Tennis Club in Cotabato.
The top-seeded Guarde wore down No. 2 Sharyl delos Santos and posted a 2-2 (retired) win in the 16-U finals to complete a rare feat in the five-day event sanctioned by Philta and hosted by KCTC headed by president Ronald Barrios.
Guarde also clipped No. 2 April Minet Bentillo twice, 4-2, 4-1, and 5-3, 4-2, in the 14- and 12-U finals, respectively, to duplicate Alexie Santos’ three-title feat in Puerto Princesa early this year.
The little girl likewise led the Sultan Kudarat bets’ domination of the event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and Babolat as John Emmanuel Estrope and Vince Tugade romped off with two titles each in the boys’ side.
Second-seed Estrope beat No. 3 Nono Carlo, 4-1, 4-2, to capture the boys’ premier 18-and-U crown, and whipped No. 5 Jeric delos Santos, 4-2, 4-0, for the 16-U plum, while the No. 6 Tugade edged No.7 Jeff Alqueza, 4-2, 4-5(3), 10-8, in the 14-and-U finals and routed Nicole Gorospe, 4-0, 4- 1, to cop the 12-U diadem.
“This is a wake-up call for us to develop our young players here in Kidapawan. But we thank Philta, Palawan Pawnshop and Babolat for bringing this grassroots program in our province,” said Barrios, noting the Sultan Kudarat bets’ top form owing to all-out support to the sport by Gov. Teng Mangundadatu.
Delos Santos took the girls’ 18-and-U title with a 4-0, 4-0 rout of Abegail Icoy while Bentillo bested Angela Novis, 5-3, 4-2, to pocket the 10-unisex crown.
“We were overwhelmed by the huge turnout and we promised to hold more tournaments here so the players in Mindanao and nearby provinces won’t need to go to Manila to compete in ranking tournaments,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.