by Kristel Satumbaga
Jeson Patrombon and Bryan Otico posted contrasting results yesterday as the Philippines and Thailand came out tied, 1-1, after yesterday’s opening singles in their Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie at the Philippine Columbian Association clay-court.
Patrombon, nominated as the PH team’s No. 1 player, drew first blood with a 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Thai No. 2 Jirat Navasirisomboon but 19-year-old Otico succumbed to a more experienced Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul, 6-3, 6-4, in the best-of-five, two-day affair.
The results increased the stakes in today’s 10 a.m. doubles match pitting Francis Casey Alcantara and Johnny Arcilla against twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana that should set the tone for the reverse singles later in the day.
Patrombon faces Wishaya in the first reverse singles at 12 noon, followed by Otico against Jirat.
Patrombon held his serve throughout the 67-minute match while breaking Jirat’s serve four times, banking on his forehand attacks and sharp serves.
The 25-year-old Iligan City native also exploited Jirat’s weak backhand, attacking the Thai repeatedly on that direction.
“Medyo off siya ngayon so yung mga chances ko, kina-capitalize ko talaga,” said Patrombon, who picked up his sixth singles win against six losses in the nine ties he had played since 2011.
It was a revenge of sorts for Patrombon, whose victory avenged his four-set loss to the Thai in their previous encounter last year.
Meanwhile, Otico failed to answer Wishaya’s booming serves even as he gallantly put up a fight.
Wishaya unloaded 14 aces to dominate Otico in 70 minutes.