ITF Asia 14-under netfest fires off March 5

The Ajay Pathak Memorial Cup/ITF Asia 14-and-under Development Championships 2013 Division I will be held March 5-15 with the region’s top juniors and rising stars slugging it out for top honors at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Alberto Lim Jr., Jerome Romualdez, Jan Godfrey Seno, Arthur Craig Pantino and John Bryan Otico head the local field bracing for a showdown with the aces from Thailand, China, Malaysia, Korea, India, Hong Kong and Chinese Taipei.

The two-weeklong event, sponsored by the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund and the Philippine Tennis Academy, will include a one-day training camp on March 4 followed by two five-day tournaments on March 5-9 and March 11-15.

The camp, to be conducted by an ITF representative and assisted by visiting team coaches, is held to allow players to adjust to the new conditions and help in deciding the seedings.

At stake in the tournament, supported by the Philippine Sports Commission, Technifibre Balls and Viva Mineral Water, are ranking points with the singles champion to earn 450 points and the second and third 300 and 225, respectively. The doubles winners will get 50 points and the second receiving 30 points.

The event is also held in honor of Pathak, the former vice president for international affairs of the Philippine Tennis Association, who passed away last year. Pathak also served in the International Tennis Federation junior committee and Asian Tennis Federation executive board where he contributed to the tennis development in Asia spanning over 30 years.

Others expected to see action are the leading junior players from Turkemenistan, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Singapore and United Arab Emirates.

Monica Therese Cruz and Chrislyn Sioson headline the local girls’ bid along with Rafaela Jean Villanueva, Meredith Jones and Janelle Llavore.

For details, contact tournament director or assistant tournament director Aaron Joshua de Leon and Loida Mallare, respectively, at (632) 5236415. Tournament referee is Wannawit Srirasa while Suresh Menon is the ITF Representative.(pr)

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