Balce, Vitaliano snag twin Philta Cup titles
UNSEEDED Mik Balce and Miles Vitaliano produced the tournament’s biggest reversals by upending their favored foes yesterday in the finals of the 1st Philta Presidents Cup Age Group Tennis Championships at Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Balce stunned second-ranked Justin Suarez, 6-1, 7-5, to rule the boys’ 18-and-under category after surviving 13-year-old Nio Tria, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, in the 16-U final.
“Winning two titles in a tough tournament really feels good,” said the 15-year-old Balce, a Grade 11 student of Ateneo who suited up for the Philippine junior Davis Cup team. “It will definitely inspire me to work even harder in future tournaments.”
Up next for Balce is an International Tennis Federation tournament in Vietnam beginning July 18.
Vitaliano, a 14-year-old from Lagro High School, also didn’t disappoint, pulling off a 6-0, 3-6, 6-3, win at the expense of top seed Mikaela Vicencio for the girls’ 16-U plum and a 6-1, 6-3 victory over highly-favored Macie Carlos in girls’ 14-U.
“I’ve won several titles before but I think these two are the most special,” said the second-ranked Vitaliano, who competed in the world junior tennis championship in Sri Lanka and Thailand three months ago.
Andrei Jarata snared the boys’ 12-U crown following a 6-4, 6-3, triumph over Edgardo Manuel Angara while Krysahana Brazil topped girls’ 12-U with a 6-1, 6-1 whipping of Noelle Beatrice So.
Vicencio redeemed herself with a 6-2, 6-0 win over top-ranked Camille So in the girls’ 18-U final of the meet organized by the Philippine Tennis Association and backed by the Philippine Sports Commission.
Brent So, son of former national team mainstay Roland So, blanked Joshua Diva, 4-0, 4-0, in the 10-under unisex division.
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