Milliam nails 3 wins in PPS – PEPPCitigreen Cebu tennis tilt

Alexa Milliam strung up three victories while Sal Andrei Lago nailed two titles as they dominated their respective sides in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Citigreen regional age group tennis tournament at the Citigreen-Alta Vista-La Paloma tennis courts in Cebu yesterday.

Milliam, 12, trampled Tiffany Nocos, 6-2, 6-3, to clinch her age-group title, then flashed top form and showed stamina in taking two more crowns in the higher division of the Group 2 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

The rising star from St. Michael Academy in Pontevedra, Negros Occidental trounced Mae Repollo, 6-1, 7-5, for the 14-U crown then upended top seed Elizabeth Abarquez, 4-6, 6-3, 10-7, in the 16-U finals.

Lago, also a 12-year-old find from Sogod, Leyte, upset top seed Cesar Salimbangon in the semis, 6-4, 4-6, 10-2, then dominated Eric Longakit, 6-3, 6-1, to capture the boys’ 14-U diadem. Earlier, he also stunned No. 1 Khenz Justiniani, 6-3, 6-0, in the semis then whipped Mitch Largo, 6-2, 6-1, to pocket the 12-U crown.

“Given the proper exposure and support, these two (Milliam and Lago) young players could fight for slots in our future national pool and become the country’s next tennis stars. Through the PPS-PEPP circuit, we provide them the venue to hone and develop their talent and skills,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

Other singles winners in the five-day tournament, backed by the Unified Tennis Group, composed of Cebuana Lhuillier, PPS-PEPP, Wilson, Toby’s, BMeg, Citigreen, Babolat, Tru-Flez, were Chad Connor of Lapu-Lapu City, Vinz Lominoque of Mandaue City, Vhon Tudtud of Naga City, Cebu and Carcar, Cebu’s Elsie Abarquez.

Connor repulsed Vincent Canete, 5-4(3), 5-3, for the 10-unisex title; Lominoque turned back Reynan Mahusay, 7-6(4), 6-2, in the boys’ 16-U finals; Tudtud downed Mahusay, 6-3, 6-2, for the 18-U crown; and Abarquez repelled Bless Coderos, 6-3, 7-6(3), for the girls’ 18-U plum.

Milliam actually made it four-of-four as she also teamed up with Lyra Repollo to edge Nicole dela Rita and Hazel Coderos, 8-6, for the 14-U doubles crown. Other winners were Josh Largo-Eric Longakit (14-U), Francis Hidalgo-Mark Pradel (boys’ 18-U), Abarquez-Jewel Milliam (girls’ 18-U) and Gio Manito-Aaron Tabura (10-U).

Meanwhile, the country’s long-running circuit will hold the next stop in Mlang, Cotabato on Sept. 14-18 to be followed by the Pikit, Cotabato leg on Sept. 21-25. For details, call PPS-PEPP sports program development director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.