• Otico trips Japanese in Phinma Week 2 opener


    Bryan Otico, fresh from his career breakthrough win at PCA Open last week, ripped Japanese Nowa Matsubayashi, 6-3, 6-2, to launch his title drive in Week 2 of the Phinma-PSC Juniors Tennis Championships at the Manila Polo Club in Forbes Park on Tuesday.

    Otico, who skipped the first of the two-week Group 4 ITF (International Tennis Federation) 18-and-under event to compete in the PCA Open where he stunned veteran PJ Tierro in a five-set thriller, overpowered Matsubayashi with his superb all around game to complete the lopsided result. He will next face the winner in the Danial Ahmad Farid of Malaysia-Kyle Tang of Hong Kong duel.

    Jose Maria Pague and Michael Eala also fashioned out a pair of straight-set triumphs to somehow make up for the early exits of Matthew Garcia, Stephan Lhuillier, Rucel Cero, Marco Ayala and Sebastien Lhuillier in the ranking event sponsored by the Philippine Investment Management Consultants (Phinma) and Technifiber and sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta).

    Pague thwarted Chinese Sida Zeng, 7-5, 6-3, while the sixth-ranked Eala, who reached the quarters in Week I ruled by Japanese Shunuke Mitsui over local bet Arthur Pantino, turned back Japanese Mikihisa Matzuzaki, 6-3, 6-4.

    But Garcia dropped a 6-2, 6-3 loss to Kei Manaka; Stephan Lhuillier bowed to American Jericho Grollman, 6-2, 6-2; Cero yielded to Malaysian Darrshan Suresh, 7-5, 6-3; Ayala lost to Hong Kong’s Marvin Lee, 6-1, 6-1; and Sebastien Lhuillier succumbed to No. 5 Odeda Arazza of Indonesia, 6-0, 6-1, in the week-long tournament ITF-sanctioned tournament supported by Technifiber ball as official ball, official hotel Jinjiang Inn, Makati and the Philippine Sports Commission.

    With Otico in the fold, Mitsui settled for the No. 2 seeding with the Japanese clashing with Filipino Joseph Tiamson at presstime.


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