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Mercado steals show; Bona triumphs

CHLOE Mercado (right) poses with Kendrick Bona (center) and Olivarez Sports Center manager Jade Germano after sweeping the girls’ 16- and 18-and-under crowns in the PPS Olivarez Group I tournament. PPS PHOTO

Chloe Mercado hit back at two of the national junior tennis circuit’s top guns and pulled off a sweep of the girls’ 16- and 18-and-under crowns in the PPS Olivarez Group I tournament at the Paranaque Tennis Club and Olivarez Sports Center’s courts over the weekend.

While Kendrick Bona completed back-to-back two title feats in the boys’ side of the event following a dominant campaign in Biñan, Laguna two weeks ago, Mercado rebounded from semifinal defeats to Sandra Bautista with a 6-2, 7-6(3) reversal over top seed and doubles partner Jana Diaz in the 16-U final.

The Quezon City ace sustained her top form and good condition as she crushed Bautista, 6-2, 6-2, to claim the 18-U trophy and split Most Valuable Player honors with Bona in the week-long tournament presented by Dunlop and sponsored by Mayor Eric Olivarez.

The Bacoor, Cavite-based Diaz held off Bautista from Imus, Cavite, 6-4, 6-7(8), 10-4, in the 16-U semis but the latter scored a 6-1, 5-2(ret,) win over the former in the 18-U Last 4 phase of the event which served as part of the nationwide circuit.

Meanwhile, Bona struggled against Tristan Licayan in the 16-U finals but prevailed in the decider, 4-6, 7-5, 10-7, although the Puerto Princesa find cruised to a 6-2, 6-0 victory over Daniel Rutines to pocket the 18-U diadem.

Rutines shocked top seed Vicne Serna, 7-5, 6-7(5), 10-6, in the 18-U semis of the event which drew a record 304-player draw following a huge 272-entry cast in the Biñan leg of the circuit.

Other winners were Licayan from Gen. Trias, Cavite and Maristella Torrecampo from Los Baños (14-U), Anthony Castigador from Iloilo and Torrecampo (12-U), and Sherwin Go-mos from Zamboanga del Norte.

Licayan blasted Julio Naredo from QC, 6-4, 6-4; Torrecampo routed Alexa Cruspero from Negros Oriental, 6-3, 6-0; Castigador trampled fellow Ilonggo Marben Alimarin, 6-2, 6-1; Torrecampo completed her two-title romp with a 6-3, 6-3 win, also over Cruspero; and Go-mos drubbed Jairus Peralta from Pangasinan, 4-1, 4-2.

Mercado and Diaz later stopped Andrea Malbas and Asia Sam Malbas in the 18-U doubles final, with Darwin Cosca and Joshua Diva foiling Bona and Serna in the boys’ championship.

Torrecampo matched Mercado’s three-title feat as she and Xophia Oliveros beat Ayl Gonzaga and Jasmine Sardona while Matthew Rodolfo and Karl Ricamara tripped Samuel Davila and Joshua Stewart in the 14-U doubles finals while Peralta and Andrei Torrente repulsed Grey Caro and Raven Licayan to nail the 10-and-U unisex trophy.

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