Iglupas, Ballado score twinkill

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PCA MIGUEL Iglupas (second from right) and Jayden Ballado (second from left) pose with PPS-PEPP sports program development director Bobby Mangunay (left) and nine-time PCA Open titlist Johnny Arcilla after coming away with a pair of two-title romps in the PCA Juniors Championships.

Miguel Iglupas pulled off a pair of shockers in the boys’ top two divisions while Jayden Ballado matched that two-title feat in the girls’ side of the PCA (Philippine Columbian Association) Juniors National Tennis Championships at the PCA outdoor courts in Plaza Dilao, Manila last Monday.

Both unranked in their respective categories, Iglupas, 16, toppled three seeded rivals to reign in his age category, capped by an abbreviated 1-0 win in the finals as No. 7 Kenzo Brodeth retired due to back injury.

But against a healthy Mateo Rivas, the rising star from the tennis-playing clan from Iligan City dominated his top-seeded rival, coming away with a 6-1, 6-4 victory to claim the 18-and-under diadem in the Group I event.

Ballado, from Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, also stirred up play in her side of the battle, wearing down second-ranked Joy Ansay, 6-1, 2-6, 10-2, in the 14-U finals then ripping Chloe Mercado, 6-0, 6-2, to clinch the 16-U trophy in the upset-marred tournament which served as part of the PPS-PEPP junior circuit.

Meanwhile, action in the country’s longest-running talent search heats up in the Brookside Juniors Championships starting tomorrow at the Brookside Tennis Club in Cainta, Rizal.

The Brookside Open, on the other hand, will be held 27 November to 3 December featuring the men’s singles and doubles.

On their way to sharing the Most Valuable Player honors, Iglupas eased past No. 5 Tristan Licayan, 4-1, 4-2, in the second round of 16-U play, bundled out No. 4 Cyril Paster, 4-1, 4-0, in the next then overwhelmed top seed Frank Dilao, 6-3, 6-0, in the semis.

He stunned second seed Manila right in the 18-U second round, then repeated over Paster, 6-1, 6-1, in the semis, while Ballado edged top seed Sandra Bautista, 6-7, 6-2, 10-5, in the 14-U semis then outlasted No. 3 AJ Acabo, 1-4, 4-2, 10-6, in the 16-U quarters.

Other winners were Quezon City’s Zachary Morales and Maristella Torrecampo from Los Baños (12-U), Imus, Cavite’s Reign Maravilla (boys’ 14-U), and La Carlota’s Alexa Milliam.

The second-seeded Morales held off No. 1 Julio Naredo, 6-4, 6-4; Torrecampo routed Erynne Ong, 6-0, 6-2; No. 2 Maravilla rapped top seed Licayan, 6-3, 6-2; and second-ranked Milliam foiled No. 1 Acabo, 6-2, 6-2, to pocket the girls’ premier title.

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