• PH junior netters advance in Thailand tilt


    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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