SEAG veteran vows best in Cañiza Open despite injury

By Jean Malanum

February 5, 2023, 9:10 pm Updated on February 5, 2023, 9:56 pm

<p>SEA Games veteran Shaira Hope Rivera <em>(Contributed photo)</em></p>

SEA Games veteran Shaira Hope Rivera (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Southeast Asian Games veteran Shaira Hope Rivera hopes to do well when she competes in the Rina Cañiza Women’s Open Tennis Championships which begins on Monday at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) outdoor courts in Paco, Manila.

Rivera, who debuted at the 2019 Manila SEAG and member of the team that won the bronze medal in Vietnam in May last year, is scheduled to meet Chelsea Roque at 10 a.m.

"Of course, I want to be champion but because of my injury now, I don't want to pressure myself. Whatever I reach in the tournament, I would be satisfied but I will still perform 100 percent and give my opponent a good match," Rivera, the 2022 PCA Open doubles champion, said in an interview on Sunday.

Rivera, who is from barangay Pines, Oroquieta City in Misamis Occidental, was a consistent medalist in the Palarong Pambansa from 2012 to 2018.

The top eight seeds of the Group A event presented by Dunlop are Alexa Joy Milliam, Alexei Xira Santos, Justine Hannah Maneja, Miles Alexandra Vitaliano, Althea Fay Ong, Mikaela Vicencio, Kryshana Brazal and Joanna Tao Yee.

Cañiza, a former national player, is teaming up with the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala to help boost women’s tennis, improve the performance of club players and develop future national team members.

Cañiza and the PPS-PEPP, led by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro, are staging a six-leg circuit with two tournaments each in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.

“Our goal is to boost women’s tennis in line with the PPS junior program. We always believe there’s a lot of players, particularly in the countryside, waiting to be tapped, trained and developed into becoming future stars,” Cañiza said.

Cash prizes at stake are PHP50,000 (singles champion), PHP25,000 (runner-up), PHP10,000 (semifinalists) and PHP5,000 (quarterfinalists).

Meanwhile, the National Collegiate Tennis Championships will begin on Feb. 13. Players may contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464. (PNA)