Directo, Guarde barge into finals

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014


ISULAN, Sultan Kudarat natives Mark Alfred Directo and Carlyn Bless Guarde breezed past their respective rivals Monday to book finals berths in the third leg of the 16th Head Graphene Junior Tennis Satellite Circuit at the 7th Day Adventist Indoor tennis courts in Cagayan de Oro City.

Both netters were set to play their separate championship games as of yesterday presstime depending on good weather conditions. Tournament director and Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) regional vice-president Juanito "Titong" Cansino, Jr. said the rains brought about by the low pressure area (LPA) delayed several third day matches, thus, only seven of the 30 matches scheduled were played Monday.

Top-ranked Directo thrashed Jed Cyrus Juario, 6-2, 6-0 in their boys 12-under semi-finals. Directo will test his mettle against Prince Najeeb Langitao, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Zachary Panganiban, in their titular showdown.

Guarde also stayed alive by whipping Merl Kisslyn Ubay-Ubay of Iligan City, 6-3, 6-0, to face either top-seed Carmella Llavore of Cagayan de Oro or Diadem Sasota who were both pitted in the other semi-finals.

In girls' 12-under, Isulan netter April Minette Bentillo lived up to her billing by spanking Farrah Emata of Iligan, 6-3, 6-0 to set up a finals collision with the winner between Nicole Gatchalian of Iligan and Ubay-Ubay.

Iligan's Allen Manlangit walloped Kurt Mosqueda of Cagayan de Oro, 6-1, 6-2, in the semis to face Janus Ringia of Koronadal, South Cotabato, who tormented Jean Dawson Ormoc (6-3, 6-0), in the boys 16-under finals.

Ringia is also seeing action in boys 14-under finals after subduing Patrick Ares, 6-2, 6-3, in their semis match-up. Ringia vies for the title against Mat Steve Palasan of Cagayan de Oro.

The Philta-sanctioned Group 2 event offers ranking points, trophies and tennis merchandise to the winners.

This year's tour will have a total of 11 legs. From Cagayan de Oro, the next stop will be Iloilo on April 21 to 24. Similar legs will be played in Bacolod, Dumaguete, Consolacion Cebu, Baguio, Olongapo, San Pablo and Manila.

Published in the Sun.Star Davao newspaper on April 16, 2014.

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