PH tennis team hoping for better finish in Cambodia SEAG

The national women’s tennis team is hoping for the best performance in the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia. Without 2022 US Open Junior singles champion Alexandra Eala in the lineup, the Philippines will be represented by Marian Capadocia, Shaira Hope Rivera, Jenaila Rose Prulla and the comebacking Khim Iglupas. Eala delivered three bronze medals coming from the singles, mixed doubles (with Fil-American Treat Huey) and women’s team (with Capadocia, Rivera and Prulla) in her first SEAG appearance in Vietnam last year. “We will try to get the gold. Our players are all not ranked and not full time professionals like the other teams, but we will try out best,” said athlete-turned-coach Czarina Mae Arevalo in an interview on Monday. Only Capadocia, Rivera and Prulla have been training with Arevalo at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center since last week. Iglupas, who played in 2015, 2017 and 2019 but skipped last year’s SEAG due to her studies in the US, is coming home on May 2. “We did not get as much exposure as the other countries, but we assure everyone that we will give our all for the county. So please support our tennis team and pray for us as we compete for the Philippines,” said Capadocia, who trained for more than three months in California. Asked if she’s confident of winning a medal, the seven-time Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open singles champion replied: “The only thing I can say for now is we will do our very best for the country, we will do our best to win a medal or medals.” Prulla, who dethroned Capadocia in the PCA Open final last year, will be making her second SEAG appearance. “Me and my teammates together with our coaches are preparing, strategizing and planning for our games ahead. I am ready and prepared for the SEA Games,” said the 17-year-old player from San Jose del Monte City, Bulacan. Prulla, Eala and Alexa Joy Milliam won the World Junior Tennis Championships Asia-Oceania Final Qualifying in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 2019. The Philippines’ biggest challenge will come from Thailand, which collected four gold, three silver and two bronze medals in Vietnam. Three of the four golds came from the women’s singles (Luksika Kumkhum), women’s doubles (Anchisa Chanta and Patcharin Cheapchandej) and team which included Pimrada Jattavapornvanit. Vietnam finished second with one gold, two silvers and three bronzes, while the Philippines had one gold, one silver and four bronzes. Meanwhile, Fil-American Ruben Gonzales will arrive in Cambodia on May 4 to join teammates Francis Casey Alcantara, Miko Eala and Jed Olivarez. Gonzales is now the world’s No. 120 doubles player. He reached the quarterfinals of an ATP Challenger in Leon, Mexico last month with American Alex Lawson. Born in Chicago, Illinois and raised in Indiana, Gonzales became a member of the national team in 2010. Aside from the SEA Games, he has competed in the Davis Cup and Asian Games. Gonzales is a consistent medalist at the SEA Games, winning the doubles gold with Huey in Vietnam (2022). He also won the silver medal with Huey (2019, Manila), Alcantara (2017, Malaysia), and Jeson Patrombon (2015, Singapore).

Source: Philippines News Agency