WITH serious training and right discipline, Rupert Ohrelle Tortal did show who’s who in the kiddies side of the ongoing Powerade Tennis Challenge 2014 at the Nazareth Lawn Tennis Club in Cagayan de Oro.
The Surigao City pride Tortal, who’s been religiously training under the tutelage of Cagayan de Oro-based coach Alein “Bebot” Sanchez, did not just conquer main rival Brent Signmond Cortes of Tubod, Lanao del Norte, but also ruled in the upper age bracket.
Accompanied by his mother as usual, Tortal defeated Cortes in the unisex 10-under finals, 8-6; then annexed the 12-under boys diadem after an 8-5 beating of Richard Bautista of Kapatagan, Lanao del Norte.
It can be recalled that Tortal and Cortes engaged in a neck-to-neck battle during the Mindanao legs of the Cebuana Lhuillier netfest with the latter even winning more legs before Sanchez’s ward recovered in the late part of the Northern Mindanao series.
“I know that Rupert has the edge basta maka-focus lang sa iyang preparation,” Sanchez then told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro.
Jose Maria Pague, who travelled all the way from Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, was paid handsomely when he captured the 14-under boys title at the expense of homeground bet Matt Steve Palasan, 8-5.
Pague, however, found the much older Auden Aaron Paduganan of Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental as too tough to handle in the 16-under boys finals when he went down in an 8-6 defeat.
“Pero kumbati kaayo nga dula. Galisod gihapon si Paduganan,” one observer said.
In the distaff side, local girls Janelle Carmela Llavore and Gennifer Lysandra Pagente lived up to their top-seed billings. Llavore subdued Immaville Gervacio of Ozamiz City, 8-5 for the premier 18-under girls crown; while Pagente dumped Gervacio’s younger sister Carmeville, 8-4 for the 14-under girls jewel.
Not to be outdone, Cagayan de Oro lass Andrea Nicole Gatchalian clinched the 12-under girls plum. But not after a hard-earned 8-7(4) triumph over Farrah Kris Caroline Emata of Balingasag, Misamis Oriental.
Tournament organizer Mario Inguito Craiz said final matches in other age brackets were still in progress as of presstime.