BERNARDINE Niño Siso, Cebu’s ace junior netter, is trying to accomplish something bigger this year—to penetrate the men’s division.
Last Tuesday night, the 17-year-old tennis stalwart of the University of San Carlos pulled off a surprising, 6-1, 6-2 win over a much older Jovan Divinagracia of Bacolod in his first match of the Eutiquio M. Bernales Sr. Cup National Open in Bohol.
Siso has fought older foes in four local tournaments but never in a Philta-sanctioned competition that has the country’s top eight men’s players in the draw.
Leading the strong lineup are RP’s top two players Johnny Arcilla and Patrick Tierro. The rest of the country’s top eight—Elbert Anasta, Ralph Barte, Ronald Joven, Rolando Ruel, Arvin Ruel and Kim Ivor Saraza —are also in.
Siso came to the tournament without any expectations except to gain experience in a high-level of competition. However, when he won, Philta coach Tom Falcis egged him to focus more on competing in the men’s open.
“Coach said that my performance has improved and I should really consider competing in more men’s open tournaments and no longer be too focused on the age groups,” said Siso.