AJ Lim saves the day for Philippines' heartbreaking second day at 2019 SEA Games tennis

AJ Lim of the Philippines (left) and Mohammed Alam Bin Meqsud Alam of Singapore (right) before their second round match at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center on Monday, Dec. 2. Photo courtesy of Gregg Esquivel.
By Kristoffer Ed Bellen

MANILA--Amid a brewing super typhoon that is expected to hit the Philippines, the country's national men's and women's tennis team featured in a devastating storm to start its week as they failed to weather their opponents' gallant stand at the second day of the tennis competitions of the ongoing 2019 Southeast Asian Games at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

In a rather sunny Monday, the Philippine netters' bid to sustain its winning start on Sunday faded in an instant as they dropped three of their four games highlighted by two heartbreaking defeats in the mixed doubles competitions.

Treat Huey and Denise Dy was on the verge of booking a ticket back to the semifinals with three matchpoints, 9-6, but the 2015 SEA Games gold medallists could not convert all of their chances as they were eventually booted out by Indonesian top seeds Aldila Sutjiadi and Christopher Rungkat, 6-7, 6-3, 11-13.

Moments later, just as the wound is getting healed, the loud Filipino tennis fans who were in attendance were completely silenced as veteran SEA Games players and tennis professionals Sanchai Ratiwatana and Tamarine Tanasugarn of Thailand proved to be a force to be reckoned with as they ended Francis Casey Alcantara and Khim Iglupas' hopes, 6-4, 5-7.

Former two-time UAAP MVP and champion AJ Lim proved to be the country's lone bright star as he crawled all the way back from being down 2-4 in the second set to upset eighth seed Mohammed Alam Bin Meqsud Alam of Singapore, 7-6, 6-4, and join compatriot Jeson Patrombon in the quarterfinals, who secured his slot on Sunday with a convincing Round of 16 win.

Anna Clarice Patrimonio, meanwhile, failed to keep the Philippines' bid alive in the women's singles after suffering a 2-6, 2-6 against Savanna Nguyen of Vietnam.

The Philippine team will now look to bounce back in the men's and women's doubles events which will kick off on Tuesday.

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