The Philippine tennis team notched four opening round victories on Tuesday to progress to the quarterfinals of the 31st Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Vietnam.
No. 2 seed Alex Eala posted an overwhelming 6-1, 6-1 win over 24-year-old Phonephathep Philavong of Laos at Court 4 of the Hanaka Paris Ocean Park in Tu Son, Bac Ninh.
The 16-year-old Rafa Nadal Academy player will go up against Jo-Leen Saw of Malaysia, 15, for a place in the semifinals where a bronze medal is assured.
Defending men’s doubles gold medalists Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon kicked off the action at Court 5 with a straight-sets win over Mathew David Krusling and Samneang Long of Cambodia.
Alcantara and Patrombon will face No. 3 seeds Muhammad Rifqi Fitriadi and Christopher Rungkat of Indonesia, who received a bye into the quarters.
Over at Court 2, Alcantara teamed up with Marian Capadocia for mixed doubles, and they ousted Malaysians Syed Mohamad Agil Syed Naguib and Jawairiah Noordin in straight sets.
Alcantara and Capadocia will see action against top-seeded Indonesians Rungkat and Aldila Sutjiadi, who also received a bye into the quarterfinals.
Finally, Jenaila Rose Prulla secured a quarterfinals slot via a walkover from Malaylack Delilah Pathummakuronen of Laos.
Prulla will challenge No. 1 seed Chanelle Van Nguyen of Vietnam, who got a bye into the quarters as well.
Other Filipinos in the SEA Games tennis competition are Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Shaira Hope Rivera, and Eric Olivarez, Jr.
Huey and Gonzales, the 2019 SEA Games men’s doubles silver medalists, are the top seeds of the men’s doubles draw where they got a bye into the quarters.
In addition, Eala and SEA Games men’s team and mixed doubles gold medalist Huey received a bye into the mixed doubles quarterfinals as the No. 2 seeds.
In the women’s doubles quarterfinals, Capadocia and Rivera will face off with No. 4 seeds Noordin and Sharifah Elysia Wan Abdul Rahman of Malaysia. Both teams received a bye in the first round.
And in men’s singles, 2019 singles bronze medalist Patrombon will challenge No. 4 seed Yuttana Charoenphon of Thailand, while Olivarez will see action against Tegar Abdi Satrio Wibowo of Indonesia.
The Philippine tennis team has won two bronze medals in the Hanoi SEA Games after losing to Thailand in the semifinals of the women’s and men’s team events.
On their way to the semis, the Philippine netters swept the opening round, 2-0, by eliminating Malaysia on the women’s side and Laos on the men’s side.