THE runner-up finish by the duo of Marian Capadocia and Clarice Patrimonio in the Federation Cup Asia Oceania Zone should boost their hopes for inclusion in the Philippine contingent to the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
Ron delos Reyes, who accompanied the two young netters in the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum on Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate, made a case for both Patriminio and Capadocia, who just arrived from Astana, Kazakhstan where they lost in the finals to Hong Kong, 2-1.
The runner-up finish kept the Filipinas in Group II of the premier women’s team competition in tennis, but served as the highest achieved by a PH women’s team since it started competing in the Fed Cup in 2008.
“Basically, ito rin 'yung mga makakalaban nila sa Asian Games,” said Delos Reyes, referring to some of the countries that played in the Fed Cup such as Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Sri Lanka.
“So we have a fighting chance. The girls just need proper training and more international exposure.”
The Philippines was grouped in Pool B in the Fed Cup where it beat Sri Lanka and Singapore to advance to the promotional playoff. The Filipinas later beat Turkmenistan in the semis to arrange a final showdown with Hong Kong.
Capadocia and Patrimonio did it with only the two of them playing both singles and doubles.
“Masaya dahil nakaabot kami ng finals. A lot were amazed dahil dalawa lang kaming naglaro when usually tatlo o apat na players ang dapat naka-lineup. And lahat ng mga nakalaban namin may experienced na,” said the 18-year-old Capadocia, who sat beside Patrimonio during the session presented by Accel, Shakey’s, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Czarina Mae Arevalo had been listed as playing coach, but didn’t see action.
Capadocia admitted the two of them have no idea whether they will make it to the Asiad lineup, although the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) is reportedly eyeing Fil-German Katharina Lehnert for a possible slot.
At the moment, Capadocia, the country’s top lady netter the past three years, is planning to train in the Belgian Tennis Academy founded by retired former world No. 1 player Kim Clijsters, and later on compete in some European tournaments.
Patrimonio, the youngest of the two tennis-playing daughters of basketball great Alvin Patrimonio, said she’s going to be actively competing in various local tournaments.