Pague defeats pal in Buglasan Open

JOSE MARIA PAGUE beat doubles partner Norman Enriquez, 7-6 (3), 6-4, to capture the Buglasan Festival National Open tennis crown at the Praxevilla hard courts in Dumaguete City last Wednesday.

Pague proved steadier than Enriquez in a pendulum clash in the opening frame, pulling through in the tiebreak after a break-break exchange that tied them at 6.

The Zamboanga find then broke Enriquez in the second game of the second set then fought off the his rally to complete the victory worth P15,000.

It was a rousing win for Pague, who gained inspiration and motivation from his semifinal setback to seasoned and eventual winner Johnny Arcilla in the recent Puerto Princesa Open.

Mcleen Gomera and Kimi Brodeth, meanwhile, are the favorites in the premier 18-under class as action in the Palawan Pawnshop-Pawanan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) Dumaguete City national age-group championships, part of the country’s longest talent-search put up by Palawan Pawnshop President and CEO Bobby Castro, got under way Friday also at the Praxevilla courts. For details, contact Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

Pague completed his big week as he and Enriquez survived Stephen Guia and Roy Tan, 6-3, 5-7, 10-3, in the semis then crushed Mclean Barraquias and Kenneth Banico, 6-2, 6-3, to nail the doubles title worth P10,000 in the week-long event held in conjunction with Negros Oriental’s premier festival celebrations.

Earlier, Pague scored a 4-2(retired) win over Roy Tan in the quarters then dominated John Tomacruz, 6-2, 6-2, while Enriquez ripped Jess Tayron, 4-0, 4-1, then turned back Barraquias, 6-4, 7-5, in the tournament backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating.

In the finals, Pague broke Enriquez right in the first game but the latter broke back in the fourth and the sixth to wrest control at 4-2. But Pague countered with his own break in the seventh then exchanged breaks again in the 11th and 12th games to send the match to a tiebreaker, which Pague, however, dominated.

Pague sustained his form in the next set and went 3-up but Enriquez refused to give up, taking the next two games before the former fought back and grabbed the next two. Enriquez stayed in the hunt by holding serve in the eighth and breaking Pague in the next but the latter struck back with his own break feat in the 10th to wrap up the fierce encounter.