Senator Pia S. Cayetano (in green, standing at the center of the back row) with the winners of the first Play Padel Open Tournament, held October 13-15 at the Play Padel courts in Mandaluyong City.
The successful staging of Play Padel’s very first open tournament last month showcased the best players of the new and fast-rising sport in the country’s growing padel community.
The tournament’s four different divisions – Men’s Open, Men’s Intermediate, Women’s Open and Women’s Intermediate — were dominated by locally based European players. This was expected, as padel has long been popular in their home countries several years ahead of the Philippines.
But the Filipino players are no pushovers. Several local athletes put up solid performances at the inaugural tournament held from October 13-15 at the newly opened indoor courts of Play Padel at the Greenfield District in Mandaluyong City. The competition drew forty teams composed of pairs of foreign and local players.
The Men’s Open division was ruled by the team of Fred Lonqvist (Sweden) and Lazaro Cornaglia (Spain). Meanwhile, Alexander Renard (France) and Henrik Tollefsen (Norway) captured the Men’s Intermediate division title.
In the Women’s Open, the all-Filipina duo of Jessica Agra and Czarina Arevalo outdueled the competition, while in the Women’s Intermediate division, it was the ‘mixed’ tandem of Mayumi Toribio (Philippines) and Violeta Volodkeviciute (Lithuania) that clinched the championship.
And so it was just fitting that the best Filipino players of the tournament were recognized by no less than Senator Pia S. Cayetano, one of the country’s most active ambassadors of padel, and a long-time supporter of grassroots sports and Filipino athletes.
Citing the need to “recognize homegrown talent,” Cayetano personally handed the All-Filipino Special Award to the highest placed local tandems in each of the four categories in the tournament. The Play Padel tournament is the first to give an All Filipino award, the senator emphasized.
Among the recipients of the award was the triumphant team of Agra and Arevalo. The award was also handed to brothers Derrick Santos and Duane Santos, who copped second runner-up honors in the Men’s Open category.
Other awardees include the duo of Mailet Ancheta and Natalie Tarin, who clinched first runner-up in the Women’s Intermediate category.
Finally, the pair of Vinzon Toribio and JM Liong was also recognized following their first runner-up finish in the Men’s Intermediate category.