MANILA-- After topping the Pre-Qualifying event, the Philippine Junior Davis Cup team will leave on Saturday for India to compete in the Asia/Oceania Final Qualifying tournament at the R.K. Khanna Tennis Complex in New Delhi, the Philippine Tennis Association announced on Friday.
The country's top three players in the Under-16 category namely Arthur Craig Pantino of Cebu, Janus Al Najeeb Ringia of Sultan Kudarat and Marcus del Rosario of Paranaque are expected to face a tough challenge in the regional qualifying with the presence of Australia and New Zealand.
Pantino has recently competed in the PTT Juniors tournament, a Grade 1 event sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation.
He earned the main draw as a qualifier and defeated Australian qualifier Stefan Storch, 6-7 (4), 6-3, 6-1 in the first round before bowing to fifth seed Japanese Shini Hazawa, 4-6, 6-4, 4-6 in the second round.
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 will be accompanied by Cris Cuarto.
Source: Philippines News Agency