Alex Eala spearheaded the Philippines’ tennis campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games and delivered on a high note in Bac Ninh’s Hanaka Sports and Service Center in Hanoi, Vietnam Tuesday, May 17.
The Filipino netters zoomed past their respective opponents and advanced to their quarterfinal assignments as Eala whipped Phonephathep Philavong of Laos in women’ singles, 6-1, 6-1.
Janaila Rose Prulla also barged into the women’s single quarterfinal via walkover win against Malaylack Pathummakuronen of Laos due to medical reasons.
In men’s double action, Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Petrombon handily defeated Cambodia’s Mathew David Krusling and Samneang Long, 6-1, 6-1.
Alcantara and partner Marian Jade Capadocia also cruised past Malaysian opponents in Syed Mohamad Agil Syed Naguib and Jawairiah Noordin in mixed doubles.
A win in the quarterfinal will assure them of at least a bronze medal in the biennial regional meet.
Eala, who is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will next face Lynelle En Tong Lim of Singapore while Prullla will clash with top-seeded home bet Chanelle Vang Nguyen of host Vietnam.
Both the men’s team composed of Petrombon, Alcantara, Ruben Gonzales, Treat Huey, Eric Olivarez Jr. and the women’s squad completed by Eala, Capadocia, Prulla, and Shaira Rivere are fresh from bronze medal finishes in the team event last May 14.