YOUNG Cebuano netter Kristoffer Salimbangon made his presence felt after a strong first match in the opening day of the 11th Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group Tennis Tournament in the CitiGreen Tennis Court in Punta Princesa, Cebu City yesterday.

The fifth-seeded Salimbangon, who plays in the boys’ 14-under, displayed his court control as he went on to defeat visiting player Matthew Ramirez, 6-4, 6-0, after trailing by four in the first set.

Salimbangon, a student of Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC), is the highest seeded Cebuano on his division, while the Top 4 players are all out-of-town players.

“There are many good players this year and they all worked hard for this tournament. We all prepared for this,” Salimbangon, who won the 12-Under last year, told SunStar Cebu in an interview. “For the game I think it’s going to be a tough competition. Everybody wants to win and no one wants to lose. What’s important is to have fun in the games.”

In the next match, Salimbangon will face Asthon Benne Villanueva, who defeated Chad Wayne Cantiga, 6-1, 6-0.

“I just look forward to the next game, hoping to do my best and have the right attitude,” said the Grade 6 student Salimbangon.

Top seed Rupert Ohrelle Tortal and second seed Brent Sigmond Cortes both advanced to the next round with a bye.

Tortal takes on John Anthony Pazo, while Cortes is waiting for the other results for his opponent.

No. 4 seed John Christopher Sonsona also had a bye in the opening day and will face Euri Tagal in the second round today. Tagal defeated EJ Tek-Ing, 6-0, 6-1.

Meanwhile, a varsity netter from University of Perpetual Help System Dalta (UPHDS), Jeremiah Maciac, is excited about his first tournament in Cebu.

“It’s a new experience for me. More challenges because it’s my first time to join here in Cebu and there will be a lot of new competitors that I have never played against before,” said Maciac, who joins the premier boys’ 18-under division.

The tennis action continues at CitiGreen Tennis Court and Alta Vista Golf and Country Club (AVGCC) today.