• Junior netter Otico enters ITF meet semis

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    Promising netter John Bryan Decasa Otico continued his impressive showing as he reached the boys’ single semifinals of the 2017 International Tennis Federation (ITF) Junior Championships being held at the National Tennis Development Center in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

    The 17-year-old Otico needed less than an hour to outplay 10th seed Huang Lingxiang of China via a 6-4, 6-4 score in the quarterfinals of the Grade Four tournament.

    He made it to the semifinals by beating Natthayut Nithithananont of Thailand in the second round (6-1, 7-5) and Keisuke Saitoh of Japan in the third round (6-2, 6-2).

    Otico earned an opening-round bye.

    Otico, the top-seeded player, will be up against 12th pick Akanit Pumjit of Thailand in the semifinals.

    Pumjit is coming off an easy 6-0, 6-1 win over fourth seed Zhou Xinmu of China in the other quarterfinal match.

    Otico is the last Filipino standing in the tournament following the exit of second seed Arthur Craig Pantino in the quarterfinals.

    Pantino absorbed the day’s biggest upset after losing to seventh seed Sacchitt Sharrma of India, 3-6, 3-6.

    In the semifinals, Sharrma will be facing 11th pick Shunsuke Mitsui of Japan, a 6-4, 6-0 winner over third seed Rishabh Sharda of India – the same player who ousted Filipino-Spanish Diego Garcia Dalisay in the third round.

    Otico seeks for his fourth finals appearance this season.

    He advanced to the championship rounds of the Hong Kong ITF Junior Tennis Tournament in Hong Kong, China ITF Junior Tennis Championships in Beijing, and Asian Junior Tennis Championships in Pune, India early this year.

    EMIL C. NOGUERA

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