Team D storms ahead in SPTC–GaryB tilt


By Cesar Q. Quilenderino

JEDDAH — Team D dislodged last week’s leader Team A with top-grossing 91 accumulated points by defeating Team B, 33-32, at the King Abdulaziz University sports compound. Team B took 2nd place with 81 points, whereas erstwhile leader Team A is in 3rd place with 79 points.

In the first set, Benhashim Salabin/Fernan Fermin of Team B made short work of Team D’s Vic Rebong/Clark Maldo with 8-3 dominance preceded by 3-0 and 6-3 leads before finishing the game. In the 2nd set, Team D’s JM Bravo partnered with Mario Betorio (allowed by tournament rules as replacement of Rolly Bautista, who was on call) erased the team’s first set loss by inflicting 8-3 beat-down against Team B’s Pol Fernandez/Nasser Queyquep with 3-1 and 6-3 leads before terminating the 2nd set at 8-3 to put their team in level at 1-1 set score.

Julius Garcia/Romeo Dilla grabbed back the lead for Team B in the 3rd set, holding off Romy Sora/Mario Betorio of Team D, who led 3-1. They clawed their way back to 3-all, moved up to 4-3 and hung on to their slim lead at 5-4 and 6-5 then closed out the match at 8-6. Team D’s Boy Isuga/Bernie Soguilon sustained their winning momentum by defeating Rollie Saldana/Cesar 8-6 with come-from-behind victory from 2-4, 3-6 and 6-7 deficits. The Team D’s pair leveled the scores at 6-all but lost the 13th game to fall again at 6-7. Boy Isuga held serve in the 14th through a sudden-death deuce game to force a tie-breaker game, which they won, 7-5, for Team D victory over the 4th set. In the 5th set, Team D’s Norwin Catipay outlasted Team B’s Waymor Carmelotes in a clash of high-rated Category B1 players. The leftie Catipay never gave up his slim lead of 3-2, 4-3, 5-4, 6-5, 7-6, till he prevailed 8-6.

Meanwhile, the Team A versus Team C match-up in the 1st set at the adjacent court saw Mashur Jamiri/MadzeAli of Team A beat Ariel Domingo/Nilo Gamba of Team C, 8-6, after surviving a scare in losing comfortable their leads 3-1, 4-2, 6-4 by breaking the service game of Team C’s Ariel Domingo at 40-15 in the 13th game to regain the lead at 7-6. But Jamiri lost serve in the following game to knot it at 7-all, with Team A winning the tiebreaker 7-4.

In the 2nd set, Marlon Pagsanjan/Jun Tomas beat Team C’s Leo Milarion/Gary Bautro with a combination of defensive baseline shots by Tomas and net-attacking drives by Pagsanjan that netted Team A an 8-3 win. The undefeated Team A duo countered the power shots of Milarion and Bautro, opening up 3-0, 5-1, 6-3 leads till 8-3.

Team A’s Fred Masangkay ruled the singles match in the 3rd set, 8-4, against Team C’s Celso Abella, firing a volley of winners to take 3-0 early lead, then leading 4-1, 5-2, 6-3 before sealing a 8-4 win. Team A has to play one more doubles match against Team B; whereas, Team C and Team D also have to play two doubles and one singles matches.

The organizers of this tennis competition are: Ariel Domingo - chairman, Roy Timtiman - vice chairman for internal affairs, Mario Betorio - vice chairman for external affairs, Jun Tomas - vice chairman for membership development, Leo Milarion – secretary, JM Bravo – treasurer, Fernan Fermin – auditor, Mashur Jamiri - press relation director, Mark Banaag - business manager, Waymour Carmelotes - tournament director. The following shall officiate as Technical Committee arbiters during SPTC tournaments and games: Roman Alcantara – deputy director, Nasser Cayquep – deputy director, and committee members - Zaldy Gabriel, Yusuf Adriatico, Allan Mabini, Rolly Saldana, Nilo Gamba, and Vic Rebong.