THE Dizon sisters, 25-year-old Steffi and 17-year-old Jenni Celine, will join forces when they compete for Davao City in the 2015 Philippine National Games (PNG) slated July 3 to 6 in Metro Manila.
Both will play together for the first time in a major event since the older Dizon graduated at De La Salle University (DLSU) in 2011. The younger one is an incoming sophomore in Interdisciplinary studies at DLSU when classes open in August. The latter formed part of the DLSU team that finished with a bronze medal in the recent UAAP competition.
Steffi said in a text interview with Sun.Star Davao, "We always practice na kami partner kasi this will be the first time na mag-pair kami sa women's. First major event ko rin ito after DLSU days."
"I am comfortable and confident since always kami nagpapartner sa tennis club. Since this is my first major tournament again and bago lang ako nagbalik sa training, I think I have big chances sa doubles and mixed doubles because I really excel in doubles during my college days," Steffi said.
She feels good that University of Sto. Tomas graduate Ralph Kevin Barte is her partner in mixed doubles.
"Mas lalo akong nagaganahan kapag magaling partner ko," she added.
She trains with Jenni before going to work at Forever 21 Davao as assistant store manager.
Jenni, for her part, said: "First time po naming magpartner. Minsan po nag-aaway and minsan okay naman. Pero comfortable po kami sa isa't isa at yun ang important."
Their familiarity with each other is the edge of their tennis partnership.
"We know each other on and off the court, that's why comfortable kami always at kahit pa mag-away kami, we can easily cope. Importante yun sa game," said Jenni.
But the former Palarong Pambansa champion said she doesn't think much about winning a gold medal.
"As first time naming magsali sa PNG, knowing that all top-ranked women's players also competing, di ko na po iniisip yun. Ang iniisip ko nalang mag-focus at manalo in every match," Jenni added.
Joining the Dizon sisters and Barte in the team are veteran Mark Anthony Alcoseba, Joel Cabusas, Jonathan Palac, Jessica Lucas and Genevieve Caorte with Philippine Tennis Association regional vice-president Juanito Cansino Jr. and Marivic Dizon as coaches.