Alcantara, Patrombon, Eala banner SEAG-bound tennis squad

The country will be fielding a strong, formidable team composed of defending doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon, as well as junior sensation Alex Eala, in the upcoming 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam this May.

Jeson Patrombon, left, and Francis Casey Alcantara (MB File Photo)

National team coach Chris Cuarto revealed the roster Friday that also includes veterans Ruben Gonzales and Treat Huey, Eric Olivarez, Khim Iglupas, Marian Capadocia and Jenaila Rose Prulla.

“It’s a good competitive team,” Cuarto told Manila Bulletin.

“It has a good mix of veteran and young players and I’m hoping we can get as many medals as we did the last time.”

The PH team won one gold, one silver and two bronze medals in the 2019 edition that the country hosted.

The inclusion of Eala, who has so far won two Junior Grand Slam doubles titles and one pro crown, further boosted the squad’s medal chances.

Eala, 16, is currently training at the Rafa Nadal Tennis Academy in Spain where she is based.

Host Vietnam added men’s and women’s team events to increase the number disciplines from five to seven that will be competed in the biennial meet.

At the moment, Alcantara, Huey, Gonzales and Eala have been campaigning in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit while the rest of local-based players have been training at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) clay courts.

They are waiting for the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center to be opened.

Cuarto hopes they could train at the hardcourts – the chosen court surface for the biennial competition – one to two months before the meet.