Pantino earns semis berth in Phinma-PSC juniors netfest

By , on November 18, 2017


FILE: The second-ranked Pantino is the only Filipino left in the tournament after Michael Francis Eala and wild card Jose Antonio Tria were eliminated in the quarterfinal round. (Photo: Arthur Craig Diaz Pantino/Facebook)
FILE: The second-ranked Pantino is the only Filipino left in the tournament after Michael Francis Eala and wild card Jose Antonio Tria were eliminated in the quarterfinal round. (Photo: Arthur Craig Diaz Pantino/Facebook)

MANILA — Cebuano Arthur Craig Pantino defeated Japanese Ryota Ishii, 6-2, 6-2, on Friday to reach the boys’ singles semifinal round in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors 1 at the Manila Polo Club indoor clay court in Makati City.

The second-ranked Pantino is the only Filipino left in the tournament after Michael Francis Eala and wild card Jose Antonio Tria were eliminated in the quarterfinal round.

Pantino marched onto the Final Four where he will face third seed Japanese Taiyo Yamanaka, who scored a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Tria.

Fourth seed Indonesian Odeda Muhammad Arazza also made it to the semifinal round after pulling off a 6-2, 6-4 victory over Eala. The Indonesian will be up against top seed Japanese Shunsuke Mitsui.

Mitsui, who is No. 264 in the world juniors rankings, downed sixth-seeded Malaysian Shamirul Shahril Mohd Adam Das, 6-0, 6-2.

In the boys’ doubles category, the top-ranked pair of Pantino and Eala won over Japanese Nowa Matsubayashi and Mohd Adam Das, 6-1, 6-1, to advance to the championship round.

The Filipino duo will be up against third seeds Kei Manaka and Taiyo Yamanaka, who prevailed over Filipino Manuel Balce III and American Jericho Grollman, 6-3, 6-4, in the semifinals.

Meanwhile, American Nicole Hammond outplayed Chinese Tian Fangram, 6-1, 5-7, 6-2, to lead the semifinalists in the girls’ singles category of the event sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation and organized by the Philippine Tennis Association.

Hammond will be up against fourth seed Lin Wing Ka of Hong Kong, who rallied past sixth-ranked American Aesha Patel, 1-6, 7-5, 6-3.

Also booking semifinal berths were No. 2 Australian Lisa Mays and American Elizabeth Stevens. Mays ousted Filipino Melanie Faye Dizon, 6-2, 6-4, while Stevens won over Japanese Saki Oyama, 5-7, 6-1, 6-1.

In the girls’ doubles category, Hammond and Stevens stunned top seeds Li Xuanjin of China and Chang Ting-Pei of Chinese Taipei, 4-6, 6-4 [10-4] to advance to the final round.

The American pair will face Chinese tandem Li Jingyi and Tian Fangran, who scored a 6-7 (6), 6-1, [12-10] upset win over third seeds Annika Kannan of India and Patel. (PNA)