CURRENT Philippines' top-ranked men's tennis player Jeson Patrombon will lead a stellar cast when the 2nd Mayor James Gamao Cup National Invitational Tennis Championship 2018 unfurls on June 13 to 16 in Panabo City.
Davis Cup player Patrombon will try to give regular campaigners Johnny Arcilla and Vicente Alberto Anasta, ranked third and fifth, respectively, in the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) men's singles, a run for their money.
However, defending champion Patrick John Tierro is not entered in the partial draft of entries, thus, leveling the playing field of the meet presented by Mercantile Corporation (Merco) and Selecta and organized by For the Love of Tennis (Flot) Group in cooperation with the city government of Panabo.
Also vying for honors in the P150,000-rich event are John Mari Altiche, Kim Ivor Saraza, Fritz Chris Verdad, John Jeric Accion, Leander Lazaro, Ronard Joven, Dheo Talatayod and John Bryan Otico.
Merco president Anton Ferrazzini, in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao yesterday, said players will arrive on June 12 and a press conference will be held at the residence of tennis enthusiast Grace Mercado.
"We appreciate Grace for hosting the presscon for the players," he said, adding that Patrombon's presence will be a great attraction to the netfest that aims to showcase the country's best tennis players and inspire youngsters to dream and to follow their paths.
As in the past tennis meets conducted by Merco and Selecta in Davao City and Panabo City, free Selecta ice cream will be given to spectators and participants in the entire duration of the match.
The tournament is sponsored by Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) through Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez, Engr. Glenn Olandria, Erja Agri. International Inc., Stronghold Insurance, Swiss Deli by Markus Kehl and Romano Venuti, Mamma Marias by Mr. Paul Abao, Anflocor (Anflo Management & Investment Corp.), Rocky’s Barbershop by Timtom Gempesaw, L.A. Arizola Construction and Supply by Dodong Arizola, Cortess Printing by Mr. Jun Ramirez, Davao City First District Representative Karlo Nograles, Dr. Mike Demetria, L.V. Ledesma Construction, Inc. by Mr. Ludwig Ledesma, Petfirst Veterinary Clinic by Dr. Joana Ferrazzini-Mercader, Asiatraders by Christopher Tan and Dunlop Balls.