Prulla, Tiamson duel for title; Eala steals show
Top seed Chris Justine Prulla and Gabriel Tiamson took different paths en route to the boys’ 18-under finals Thursday in the 27th Andrada Cup age-group tennis championships at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Prulla, 17, bucked a rough first set to dispatch Norman Gaspar, 7-5, 6-1, while Tiamson pulled off a stunning 6-1, 6-2 upset win over second seed Matt Steve Palasan to forge the title showdown.
But it was 10-year-old Alexandra Eala who stole the limelight when she barged into the finals of the girls’ 16-under and 14-under categories.
Eala, a member of the Philippine team to the junior Southeast Asian championships, sustained her impressive run in the meet by whipping Gabby Zoleta, 6-1, 6-3, in the 16-under semifinals.
She then shut down Macie Carlos, 6-0, 6-0, in the 14-under Final Four.
But the reigning Philta-PSC national 14-under champ will have her hands full in the finals as she will take on the top seeds in the two divisions.
Eala will square off in the 16-under finals with Rafaella Villanueva, who imposed her will against Ibiza Mae Perez, 6-0, 6-0. She will meet Miles Vitaliano in the 14-under title match.
In boys’ 16-under, No. 1 pick Manuel Balce and second seed Jake Martin arranged a showdown for the top plum after impressive semifinal wins.
Balce outlasted Palasan, 6-1, 7-5, while Martin, 15-year-old former national team member from Xavier School, drubbed Justin Suarez, 6-1, 6-0.
Juan Carlo Lapore progressed to the finals of the boys’ 14-under after downing Jude Hidalgo, 6-2, 6-1. Lapore will go for the crown against second seed Aljon Talatayod, who dominated Daniel Estanislao, 6-4, 6-1.
In boys’ 12-under, Samuel Nuguit ripped Rafael Liangco, 6-0, 6-1, to make the finals against Marc Andrei Jarata, who advanced by beating Manolo Angara, 6-2, 6-3.