Otico, Pantino, doubles champs at Phinma netfest

By , on November 26, 2017

Five Filipinos, led by top seed John Bryan Otico, marched to the second round of the boys' singles category in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors 2 at the Manila Polo Club indoor clay courts in Makati City on Wednesday. (Photo: John Bryan Decasa Otico/Facebook)
FILE: John Bryan Otico (Photo: John Bryan Decasa Otico/Facebook)

MANILA — Top-ranked Filipinos John Bryan Otico and Arthur Craig Pantino bagged the boys’ doubles title over third seeds Kei Manaka and Taiyo Yamanaka, 6-3, 6-4, on Saturday in the Phinma-PSC International Juniors 2 at the Manila Polo Club indoor claycourt in Makati City.

Otico, who is No. 130 in the world juniors rankings, now has four doubles titles since he started competing in the ITF Juniors Circuit in 2013. He won the Asian Junior Championships in Pune, India (June) and the China Juniors 8 in Beijing (May) with Japanese Seita Watanabe.

Otico has three juniors singles titles, the last one he won at the PTT-ITF Juniors in Nonthaburi, Thailand in June. His other victories were at the Hong Kong ITF Juniors in January 2017 and the Vietnam ITF Juniors in Ho Chi Minh in July 2015.

Pantino, on the other hand, claimed his second doubles title after winning last week with compatriot Michael Francis Eala.

Pantino, ranked No. 342 in the ITF Juniors, won the doubles title with Beibit Zhukayev of Kazakhstan in Perlis, Malaysia last month.

Meanwhile, Otico and Pantino won their respective semifinal matches in the singles category to arrange championship showdown in the tournament organized by the Philippine Tennis Association.

Otico downed the fourth-seeded Yamanaka, 7-5, 6-0, while Pantino outplayed second seed Japanese Shunsuke Mitsui, 6-7 (3), 6-3, 6-0.

It was a sweet victory for Pantino, who lost to Mitsui, 3-6, 3-6, in the final last week.

In the girls’ doubles category, Filipino Shaira Hope Rivera and her American partner, Elizabeth Stevens were crowned champions after eliminating second seeds Punnin Kovapitukted of Thailand and Saki Oyama of Japan, 6-1, 7-5.

Stevens won last week’s title with compatriot and singles champion Nicole Hammond.