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Bacolod City, Philippines Tuesday, March 21, 2017
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PHL netters finish 13th
at Davis Cup qualifiers

The Philippine Junior Davis Cup team settled for 13th place in the Asia/Oceania Zone Final Qualifying event on Sunday in India.

The Under-16 squad comprising Arthur Craig Pantino of Cebu, Marcus del Rosario of Paranaque and Janus Al Najeeb Ringia of Sultan Kudarat defeated Kazakhstan, 2-1, in their best-of-three tie at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex in New Delhi.

Kazakhstan got the upperhand after Rostislav Galfinger beat Del Rosario, 6-2, 4-6, 6-0, in the first singles but Pantino outclassed Shokhrukh, 6-0, 6-1, in the second singles to level the score at 1-1.

The Philippines clinched the tie after Pantino teamed up with Ringia to conquer Galfinger and Bekzat Ussipbekov, 7-5, 7-6 (2) in the doubles match.

The Philippines finished third in Group B in the round-robin qualification round with a 2-1 win-loss record. The Filipinos beat the Malaysians (2-1) but lost to the Thais (0-3) and the Chinese (0-3).

China,which had a 3-0 record, advanced to the World Group Finals to be held from September 18 to 23 in Budapest, Hungary, along with group leaders Chinese Taipei (A), Australia (C) and Japan (D).

Chinese Taipei swept Group A with victories over Kazakhstan (3-0), Syria (3-0) and Uzbekistan (3-0).

Australia defeated Indonesia (3-0), Singapore (3-0) and Korea (2-1) while Japan prevailed over India (3-0), Hong Kong (2-1) and New Zealand (3-0).

Meanwhile, Japan downed Australia, 2-1, to win the title in the Asia Oceania Zonal Final Qualifying tournament. Chinese Taipei was third following a 2-1 triumph over China.

In other results, South Korea downed Hong Kong, 2-1, for fifth place while Thailand beat Uzbekistan, 2-1, for seventh place.

New Zealand was eighth followed by India, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia and Syria.

The Philippines had a brilliant showing in the Pre-Qualifying event, beating Iraq (3-0) and Bhutan (3-0), in the Group A round-robin phase.

In the play-off stage, the Philippines demolished Pakistan (3-0) and Lebanon (3-0) to advance in the championship round against Singapore.

Del Rosario's 2-6, 4-6 loss to Ethan Lye in the first singles gave Singapore a 1-0 lead but Pantino levelled the tie at 1-all when he scored a 6-3, 6-2 win over Robin Cheng in the second singles match.

Pantino teamed up with Ringia to conquer Lye and Cheng, 6-4, 6-3 in the doubles to seal the Filipinos' victory.

The Philippine Davis Cup team is accompanied by national coach Cris Cuarto. *PNA


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