Pinay netters upbeat of SEA Games chances with Eala at the helm

Luisa Morales - Philstar.com
Pinay netters upbeat of SEA Games chances with Eala at the helm
Marian Capadocia (L) expressed optimism for the Philippine women's tennis team with Alex Eala joining the program
Philstar.com / Luisa Morales

HANOI — The Philippine women's tennis team are optimistic of their campaign here at the 31st Southeast Asian Games with teen sensation Alex Eala leading the way.

Though only a rookie in terms of national team experience, being in the WTA Tour has toughened up Eala to be the centerpiece of the emerging Philippine squad.

"[We have] a very good team this time kasi andiyan si Alex," said Marian Capadocia after she and Eala steered the Philippines to victory over Malaysia, 2-0, at the Hanaka Sports and Entertainment Center on Friday.

At 16, Eala is the highest ranked among her peers as she's currently in the WTA Top 400. She also has ample experience under her belt in the ITF junior and pro circuits, and some WTA tourneys as well.

With all that the Rafa Nadal Academy scholar has learned, Capadocia said she has not been amiss in sharing her knowledge.

"Alex, she's very kind. Tinutulungan niya especially si Janeila [Prulla]. Lahat naman kami nagtutulungan, and then si Alex nagbibigay ng [tips] on how to play," Capadocia said.

Prulla, like Eala, is also 16-years-old.

Coach Czarina Arevalo mirrored the team's optimism.

"I think they're doing [good]. They're happy," she said.

The women's team will be fighting Thailand today (Saturday) to assure themselves of a silver medal.

Their win against Malaysia on Friday clinched them the bronze, which already surpasses the team's haul last 2019 since the women's squad was unable to get a podium finish in the Games held in Manila.

Meanwhile, the men's team also battles the Thais for a slot in the gold medal match as well.

The men's team is composed of Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Jeson Patrombon, Francis Alcantara, and Eric Olivarez.




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