TEAM Southeast Asia capped its wire-to-wire triumph in the Pradera Ladies Challenge by taking six and a half points in the final 10 matches on Tuesday at the Pradera Golf and Country Club course in Lubao, Pampanga.
Team SEA wound up with 19-1/2 points against the 10-1/2 of the Filipinas in the Ryder Cup-style event featuring young female players in the region.
“We learned a lot in this event. Some of my Thai players were actually first timers to play in a Ryder Cup format. But all the girls were excited to gain new friends,” said Team SEA co-captain Phunumpa Pornperapan, whose squad composed of national players from Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia dominated their Filipina counterparts in all three days.
They took control, 7-3, on the first day then hiked their lead to 13-7 in the second round.
The young Filipinas put up a strong fight early, with Mikha Fortuna scoring a 3 and 1 win over Thailand’s Kan Bunnabodee, Pauline del Rosario defeating Atthaya Thitikul, 2 and 1, while Bernice beat Tunrada Piddon 2 and 1.
Malaysia’s Qistina Azhar beat Mika Arroyoa, 3 and 2, in the opening match.
Team SEA imposed its will in all but one of the last six singles with Thai Onkanok Soisuwan defeating club bet Annyka Cayabyab, 5 and 3, and Michela Tjan of Indonesia securing the crown with a 3 and 1 victory over Sofia Chabon.
Abby Arevalo and Geraldine Wong earned a split with their rivals, but Team SEA swept the remaining matches with Malaysia’s Natasha Oon beating Nicole Abelar, 2 and 1.
Winnie Ng defeated Tomi Arejola, 3 and 2, before Napaghach Boon-in of Thailand beat Missy Legaspi, 5 and 3, in the final match.
Despite the setback, Team Pradera co-captain Jennifer Rosales lauded the young players’ gallant stand in the event organized by Forthinker Inc. headed by chairman Marilen Nunez
“It was a great tournament. It was fun to teach the kids and I’m proud of my team,” said Rosales, a two-time LPGA Tour winner.
Organizers vowed to make it a bigger event next year.
“I’m happy it was a successful tournament. Both teams gave their best. Expect a bigger challenge next year,” said Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, who put up the event with Archen Cayabyab and coach Norman Sto. Domingo.