Pinoy netters stamp class in ATF 14-U Series

The Philippine junior netters sustained their form and completed their romp in the ATF (Asian Tennis Federation) 14-and-Under Series, winning all but of the four titles disputed in Kuching, Sarawak over the weekend.

Marc Jarata actually made it four-for-four for the Filipinos but he teamed up with Malaysian Thoybah Rahim to upend the top-seeded tandem of Exequiel Jucutan and Joewyn Pascua, 5-3, 4-2, in the boys’ doubles finals of the annual event which drew some of the leading and rising junior players in the region.

Earlier, Pascua, spearhead of the four-player Team Unified Tennis Philippines handled by coach Leander Lazaro, scored a 3-5, 4-0, 3-3 (ret.) win over teammate Jucutan to claim the singles diadem while Alexa Milliam lived up to her top billing by bagging the girls’ singles plum with an imposing 6-0, 6-3 triumph over Taiwanese Tzeng Mu-Jie.

Milliam survived Liya Chu, also from Taiwan, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, in the semis of the four-day Category 2 event at the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association Tennis Center.

Milliam and Jarata, whose campaign with Team UTP is backed by Cebuana Lhuillier Micro Savings, Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala, Dunlop, Enervon, STI, Buffalo Wild Wings, BO’S Coffee and Madison Galeries Lifestyle Mall, set up the country’s romp with a come-from-behind 4-6, 6-3, 10-4 victory over Singapore’s Tamryn Brown and Sue Yan Tan last Friday.

Meanwhile, another group of young UTP players, toughened by the year-long nationwide circuits put up by Palawan Pawnshop and Cebuana Lhuillier, is also set to compete in the ITF Grade 5 tournament in Selangor on Oct. 1-6 with Sydney Enriquez and Eric Jay Tangub leading the roster, according to UTP general manager Jackie Tomacruz and UTP board director Gerard Maronilla.