The country’s top junior netters and upcoming stars plunge into another busy season as they resume their hunt for honors and ranking points in the 2014 Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala regional age group tennis circuit presented by Tecnifibre beginning Thursday (Jan. 16) in La Carlota, Negros Occidental in Bacolod City.
The five-day tournament ending Jan. 20 marks the start of a year-long, nationwide 29-stage circuit, including five new legs annually put up by Palawan Pawnshop in its continuing effort to help develop the sport and produce top-notch players who could be tapped as spearheads of future national teams.
“We regularly sponsor sports activities in the areas where we operate. It is our way of giving back to the community part of our blessings and encouraging people to engage in sports for healthier lives,” said Bobby Castro, president of the sponsoring Palawan Pawnshop.
Technifibre is also coming in as the circuit’s chief backer of the event, which features nine Group 2, seven Group 3, three Group 4 and 10 Group 5 tournaments.
“Technifibre is here to help develop the sport and at the same time provide our youth, especially in the countryside, a venue where they could hone their talent and skills,” said former Davis Cupper Roland So, manager of Technifibre.
The sanctioning Philippine Tennis Association, led by president and Parañaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez also lauded Palawan Pawnshop and Technifibre’s commitment to help promote the sport, which continues to rise with a number of tournaments held every month.
The circuit, according to Castro, is also aimed at addressing the need for a grassroots tennis program centered on values formation. “This program is designed to instill the benefits of physical fitness and core values that promote tennis and address the problem of juvenile delinquency,” said Castro.
After the Group 3 event at La Carlota, the tour will go to the Center Court Tennis Club, also in Bacolod, for the second leg on Jan. 23-27 with Dumaguete hosting the third stage on Feb. 7-10 at the Dumaguete Tennis Club.
The five new legs are the Los Baños stop on Feb. 21-24 at the College Country Club, the Cebu tournament on May 26-31 at the Mandaue Tennis Clun, the Roxas City leg on Nov. 14-17 at the Roxas Sports Complex, the back-to-back Leyte stages on Dec. 5-8 at the Isabel Tennis Club and on Dec. 12-15 at the Maasin Tennis Club.