Sonsona, Gervacio banner PPS Oroquieta cast

Steven Sonsona and Carmeville Gervacio seek to live up to their top billing as they gun for the 18-and-under crowns in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Oroquieta leg regional tennis tournament, which gets going on Friday in Misamis Occidental.

Sonsona is actually bracing for a fierce showdown with No. 2 Stephen Guia in the premier division with the duo switching rankings in the 16-U category of the Group 1 tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger set at the Oroquieta Lawn Tennis Club.

Gervacio, on the other hand, gears up for a duel with No. 2 Anamae Mendoza in the girls’ side that also includes fresh faces raring to grab the spotlight and gain ranking points, including Yvonne Jonson, Mari Uy, Justine Mamocatcat, Ermiejin Mallay, Trisha Calizar and Robie Baulete.

Mendoza is also entered in the 16-U section but yields the top two seeding to Janmarie Anghag and Robie Baulete, respectively, settling for No. 3 and ahead of Faye Lim.

Close to 200 entries are vying in the five-day tournament with the organizers also needing to hold a qualifying in the boys’ 14-U division to accommodate the big number of participants.

The tournament, backed by the Unified Tennis Group, led by PPS-PEPP, Cebuana Lhuillier, Wilson, Toby’s, Dunlop, Slazenger and B-Meg, also offers ranking points for free training abroad under the UTG program, according to PPS-PEPP sports program development director Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 0915-4046464.

Brent Cortes, John David Velez, Nash Agustines and Ashton Villanueva lead the 14-U roster while Guia Bandolis and Judy Ann Padilla loom as the players to beat in the girls’ category.

Keen competition is also expected in the full-packed boys’ 12-U division with Agustines, Heimz Carbonilla, Christopher Sonsona and Al Rasheed Lucman tipped to lead the title chase while Bandolis and Padilla also gaining the top two seeding in the girls’ side that also includes Casey Padilla and Lianne Lanipa.

Also to be disputed are the doubles titles in the boys and girls’ 14- and 18-U and the 10-unisex.