Gonzales rules centerpiece 18-and-under event of national age-group tennis tilt

SECOND seed Marcen Gonzales and No. 1 Aljohn Talatayod ended the year with a bang by ruling their respective divisions at the close of the fifth PSC-Philta National age-group tennis tournament at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Gonzales ended Chris Prulla’s run with a 6-3, 6-2 triumph on Wednesday to pocket the boys’ 18-and-under plum.

Talatayod played true to form and dominated second seed Jan Harold Trillanes, 6-3, 6-0, to annex the boys’ 12-and-under title.

It was a dominating performance by Talatayod, who never conceded a set in the five-day season-ending Philta ranking juniors tournament.

Cenon Gonzales Jr. completed the big day for the Gonzales siblings in the Group 1 tournament as he captured the 16-and-under crown with a 6-3, 6-1 romp over Justin Suarez.

Third-ranked Frances Santiago took the girls’ 16-and-under title with a thrilling 6-3, 4-6, 6-4 victory over 14-year-old Rafaella Villanueva.

Santiago entered the finals trying to recover from a marathon 6-3, 5-7, 6-3 decision over top seed Nikki Ong on Monday.

It was a sorry setback for the Villanueva, daughter of Philta vice president and Philippine Davis Cup team administrator Randy, who had hoped to snare a title in the higher division after dominating her age group. The multiple winner in the Olivarez Cup and Palawan Pawnshop circuit had also represented the country in the Women's Tennis Association age group tournament in Singapore in October.

Top seed Mikaela Vicencio rebounded from a poor start to foil No. 2 Miles Vitaliano in another three-setter, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, and secure the girls’ 14-and-under crown while No. 1 Alexandra Eala likewise imposed her will and strength over No. 2 Vitaliano to fashion out a 6-1, 6-3 victory for the girls’ 12-U plum.

Miguel Vicencio, meanwhile, wore down Samuel Nuguit in a gripping duel of the fancied bets in the 10-and-under unisex section, with the top seeded bet hacking out a 5-3, 3-4, 4-2 victory in the event sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Tennis Association and backed by Asiatraders, Corp. and Dunlop Fort All Court Balls

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