|Jeson Patrombon (left) and AJ Lim (right). File photo.|
By Kristoffer Ed Bellen
MANILA--As the 2019 SEA Games Tennis competitions gear toward its conclusion, the Philippine national tennis players, courtesy of the men's team, had assured that the host country will be up in the podium once the awarding ceremonies commence as they recorded satisfying (and somewhat heartbreaking) results on Wednesday.
Men's singles bets AJ Lim and Jeson Patrombon both failed to overwhelm their higher-ranked Vietnamese opponents but still able to manage to bag a bronze medal each in two contrasting losses on Thursday at the semifinals action in Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Lim, who found himself up by a break at 4-1 in the second set, failed to capitalize from it and eventually fell to top seed Daniel Nguyen, 3-6, 4-6, before Patrombon's opening set victory was all put into history by ATP Challenger Tour mainstay and third seed Ly Hoang Nam via a three-set defeat, 7-5, 1-6, 3-6.
Regardless, the Filipino netters still have the chance to clinch a gold medal for the Philippines when all but Lim battle in two crucial men's doubles semifinals on Friday.
Patrombon, along with long-time national teammate Francis Casey Alcantara, will engage in one of two Philippines-Vietnam semifinals when they face Daniel Nguyen and Van Nguyen after top-seeds Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales tries to fend off Quoc Khanh Le and Ly Hoang Nam in their own match scheduled at 1:00 p.m.
Both pairs scored dominant victories in the afternoon session of today's competition after Huey and Alcantara overpowered Shamirul Shahril Mohd Adam Das and Mohammad Naguid of Malaysia, 6-3, 6-3, before Patrombon and Alcantara stunned Indonesian fourth seeds Anthony Susanto and David Susanto.
Meanwhile, in the women's doubles event, Denise Dy and Khim Iglupas absorbed a lopsided 1-6, 0-6 beating against third seed Thais Patcharin Cheapchandej and Luksika Kumkhum to bow out of the tournament.
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