Three teams hailing from the Philippines are set to partake in the World Pickleball Championship taking place in Bali, Indonesia from September 19 to 24.
Tier 5 Category
The participating teams, namely the Lucena City Pickleball Club, Makati Pickleball Club, and the Philippine Pickleball Team, will be contending against entries from various nations, including the United States, Australia, Chinese Taipei, and other countries in Southeast Asia.
This competition falls under the tier 5 category, offering a collective cash prize amounting to $20,000 (equivalent to PHP 1.1 million).
The Lucena City team is comprised of Anya Uy, Karl Zoleta, Evan Villapando, Lyndon Cena, Peter Paul Labay, Odi Tayag, John Eric Buhay, Sorren Emprese, Gaby Zoleta, Aaliyah Jullao, Sommer Cena, Amanda Zoleta, Ethel Villapando, Louchiel Labay, and Natasha Emprese.
Helping The Growth Of Sport In Bali
Karl Zoleta remarked to the Philippine News Agency, “The team is composed of the best pickleball players in Quezon province and we feel that joining this kind of event helps the growth of the sport in the country.”
Karl, who previously served as the team captain for the College of Saint Benilde tennis team from 1997 to 1998, has also represented the Philippine junior team.
Heading the Makati squad are national player Ana Clarice Patrimonio and former national athlete-turned-coach Czarina Mae Arevalo.
The team is made up of Hoj Wilcox, Cindy Patrimonio, Pao Barrientos, Michelle Sison, Maite Gonzales, Stella Lopez Lavy, Shelly Mojica, Mychaela Tran, Gina Aramburo, Trixie Chan, Bonns Umali, David Lavy, Pardner Azarcon, Carlo Tenedero, and Abel de la Cruz.
Top-Ranked Pickleball Global Woman
Ana Clarice, a decorated athlete at the SEA Games, clinched silver in Malaysia (2017) and Singapore (2015), as well as a bronze in Indonesia (2011).
Arevalo, a five-time SEA Games medalist, has competed at the Fed Cup for eight years and presently holds the top spot in the Pickleball Global women’s singles rankings.
The roster of the Philippine Pickleball Team, a selection of players from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao, encompasses Gabriel Riconalla III, Christopher Encarnacion, Ken Ewing Narvasa, Christopher John Estremos, Patricia Raymundo, Winona Cabardo, Medelene Ramos, and Sarah Jane Lim.
Leander Lazaro, the highest-ranked Filipino in the Pickleball Global men’s singles at No. 4, is representing the Lunar Pickleball pro team from the US. Last year in Bali, Lazaro secured a silver in the men’s singles and a gold in the doubles Advanced category alongside Kim Ivor Saraza in the world championships.
In a recent interview with the Philippine News Agency, Lazaro mentioned his team’s burning desire to secure a podium finish.
Lazaro Dominating Eastern Pickleball
In the mixed doubles event, Lazaro will partner with Sarah Jane Lim, while Saraza will team up with Medelene Ramos. Lazaro clinched the doubles gold medal with Australian Brendan Lee at the 2022 Bainbridge Cup in Mumbai, India.
A mere two months ago, Lazaro dominated in singles and doubles (with American Matthew Nola) at the Vietnam Open in Hanoi.
At the Asia Pickleball Open held in Phuket, Thailand last March, he secured second place in the mixed doubles Open category (with Patricia Raymundo) and the men’s doubles advanced category (with Saraza). Lazaro also claimed third position in the men’s singles Open category.
Visit the Philippines Pickleball Federation website for more information about pickleball in their country.
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