• PH junior netters advance in Thailand tilt

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    Junior netters John Bryan Otico and Khim Iglupas blasted their respective foes to barge into the semifinals of the 2016 International Tennis Federation LTAT Junior Grade 4 tournament on Friday at the National Tennis Development Center in Bangkok, Thailand.

    The 16-year-old Otico posted the day’s biggest upset after stunning the second-seeded Vorachon Rakpuang­chon of Thailand via a 1-6, 6-2, 6-2 come-from-behind win in the quarterfinals of the boys’ singles.

    Otico guns for a spot in the finals when he tackles another Thai bet Akanit Pumjit, who scored an easy 6-1, 6-1 win over Philip Hjorth of Denmark.

    Iglupas also continued to her winning ways in the girls’ singles by clobbering Supapitch Kuearum of Thailand, 6-2, 6-2, and arranged a semifinal showdown with 10th seed Thai Mananchaya Sawangkaew, who ousted her compatriot third pick Napharat Sawangkaew, 6-2, 3-0 (ret.).

    In girls’ doubles, Filipina Maia Bernadette Balce and Japanese partner Nagomi Higashitani defeated Kuearum and Indian Priyana Kalita, 7-6 (5), 6-4, to advance to the finals.

    The fifth-seeded pair of Balce and Higashitani earned an opening round bye before surviving Thailand’s Natthapat Piwbangruk and Watsachoi Sawasdee in the second round, 6-2 3-6, 10-8; and No. 1 Thai duo of Thasaporn Naklo and Mai Napatt Nirundorn in the quarterfinals, 6-3, 1-6, 10-7.

    Balce and Higashitani will meet Indonesians Sabrina Fitriana and Janice Tjen, a 6-4, 6-2 winner over Iglupas and Shaira Hope Rivera.

    In boys’ doubles, Otico and Thai Palaphoom Kovapitukted suffered a 6-7 (5), 7-6 (2), 9-11 decision at the hands of Thanapet Chanta and Kasidit Samrej of Thailand in the second round.

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