Otico hurdles 1st match in Phinma-PSC juniors netfest

MANILA — 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.

Otico defeated Japanese Nowa Matsubayashi, 6-3, 6-2, to advance against Malaysian Ahmad Farid, who survived Hong Kong’s Tang Kyle Lok Yin, 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.

Joining Otico in the next round are third seed Arthur Craig Pantino, sixth seed Michael Francis Eala, Manuel Balce III, and wild card Jose Maria Pague.

Pantino, last week’s runner-up, downed Taiwanese Kung Chun Jui, 6-2, 6-1, to advance against Hong Kong qualifier Lee Marvin Mang Hin, a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Filipino wild card Marco Ayala.

Eala outplayed Japanese qualifier Mikihisa Matsuzaki, 6-3, 6-4, to advance against Indonesian Jerali Yasin, a 6-4, 6-4 winner over Chinese Xie Yu Lun.

Balce pulled off a 6-4, 6-2 victory over Hong Kong’s Chan Man San to forge a second-round meeting with second seed Japanese Shunsuke Mitsui, who won over Filipino wild card Joseph Gabriel Tiamson, 6-3, 6-4.

Pague eliminated No. 8 Chinese Zeng Sida, 7-5, 6-3, to advance against Japanese Kei Manaka, a 6-2, 6-3 winner over Filipino Matthew Garcia.

Other matches saw No. 4 Japanese Taiyo Yamanaka winning over Filipino wild card Jose Antonio Tria, 6-2, 6-2; No. 5 Indonesian Odeda Muhammad Arazza beating Filipino qualifier Sebastien Lhuillier, 6-0, 6-1; and No. 7 Malaysian Shamirul Shahril Mohd Adam Das trouncing Singaporean Justin Oeni, 6-4, 6-3.

In the girls’ singles category, Shaira Hope Rivera won her first-round match against Thailand’s Lunda Kumhom, 6-2, 6-3, to remain the lone Filipino in the main draw. She will next meet fifth seed Lin Wing Ka of Hong Kong, who won over Singaporean Ashley Kei Yim, 6-1, 6-1.

Second seed Punnin Kovapitukted of Thailand, No. 3 Lisa Mays of Australia, No. 4 Li Xuanjin of China, No. 6 Charmaine Shi Yi of Singapore, and No. 7 Saki Oyama and No. 8 Yuna Ohashi of Japan also earned seats in the second round. PNA-northboundasia.com