Velez earns quarters slot in PSC-PHILTA Age Group Championships

By Jean Malanum

December 21, 2018, 4:20 pm

MANILA -- Unranked John David Velez of Davao City pulled off a 6-3, 7-5 upset win over third seed Loucas Fernandez to complete the quarterfinal cast in the boys' 18-under category of the Philippine Sports Commission - Philippine Tennis Center (PSC-PHILTA) National Age Group Championships at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center on Friday.

The 14-year-old Velez, who is a Grade 8 student at Letran College in Manila, will be up against Marco Ayala, who demolished Stephen Catipon, 6-0, 6-0, last Thursday.

"I beat him the first time we met and I hope to win again," said Velez, who prevailed over Ayala in the second round of the 2017 Olivarez Cup.

Velez, together with Alexa Milliam of Bacolod City, attended a three-month training at the Mac’s Crankit Tennis Academy in Sydney, Australia this year.

"I learned a lot during my stay in Australia," said Velez about his first international trip. "I also enjoyed playing on synthetic grass."

Last September, Velez joined the Asian Tennis 13th Asian Tennis Federation (ATF) 14-Under Series held at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association Centre hard courts in Kuching City, Malaysia.

Velez captured the boys' singles title over compatriot, Rupert Ohrelle Tortal, 6-1, 5-7, 6-1. He and partner Rainier Angelo Selmar, however, lost to Rupert Ohrelle Tortal and Brent Signmond Cortes, 4-6, 0-6, in the all-Filipino boys' doubles final.

Meanwhile, third seed Tennielle Madis demolished Frances Moncato, 6-0, 6-0, to join top seed Marielle Alexi and No. 2 Mica Ella Emana in the girls' 12-under quarterfinal.

The 11-year-old Madis, who hails from Cotabato, will be facing Krisha Mae Bolilan, who walked over Elissa Santos.

Madis, a Grade 5 student at Southern Baptist College in M'lang town, is a doubles silver medalist in the 2018 Palarong Pambansa in Vigan. She is also a champion in the 12-under and unisex 10-under categories in the Andrada Cup.

Madis has played in Malaysia this year. She won the singles bronze medal in Perlis state and the singles bronze and the doubles gold medals with Judy Ann Padilla in Penang state.

After Malaysia, Madis joined a tournament in Hat Yai, Thailand where she bagged a bronze medal in the singles and a gold medal in the doubles with Padilla. (PNA)