Zambo’s Pague clinches Palarong Pambansa 2017 tennis gold
ANTIQUE, Philippines – Dreams come true.
The Zamboanga Peninsula Regional Athletic Association (ZPRAA) finally won the gold medal in the secondary individual tennis event for boys after winning the exhilarating championship match against the Negros Island Region Athletic Association (NIRAA) on Friday, April 28.
After winning the silver medal last year in the same category, ZPRAA’s Jose Maria Pague beat NIRAA’s Ibarra Ortega with a score of 8-3.
Pague started the opening salvo by getting the first set goal in the match. The lead eventually widened to 3-0 in favor of Pague.
Ortega eventually caught up to Pague’s agility and speed which made it easy for him to catch up with the game, closing the gap to a one-point deficit in favor of Pague.
In the 7th set, both teams eventually entered a deuce, which forced both teams to break the tie at this round. Pague eventually won the set, pushing the game to 5-2.
At this point, Ortega failed to catch up with Pague’s precision and agility, which made it difficult for him to catch up with the latter’s lead.
Road to gold
In an interview after the match, Pague said that he’s happy to win the championship.
“Masaya siyempre dahil first time nag-champion at dalawang gold medal pa,” Pague said. (I’m happy, of course, because it’s my first time to become champion, and it’s two gold medals.)
Pague, who was undefeated during the elimination round, also beat Ilocos’ Dennis John Pica during the quarterfinals match in their bracket, then defeated Central Visayas’ Gener Francis Lambayan in the semis match.
Ortega defeated Central Visayas’ John Clyde Laquio in the quarterfinals match in bracket B; then handed a loss to Zamboanga Peninsula’s Eric Jay Tangub during the semifinals.
Meanwhile, Northern Mindanao’s Matt Steve Palasan and Soccsksargen’s Vince EJ Tugade bagged the bronze medals in the said category after losing to Ortega (8-4) and Pague (8-5), respectively.
Pague’s win in the individual event marked his second gold medal for this year’s Palaro as he also won the gold medal in the secondary team category for the same sport that includes Nilo Ledama, Jude Ceniza, and Eric Jay Tangub. – Rappler.com
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