THE region’s top junior netters vie for top honors as the 2013 Ajay Pathak Memorial Cup/ITF Asia 14-and-under Development Championships Division I get going on March 5 to 15 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-week event, sponsored by the ITF Grand Slam Development Fund and the Philippine Tennis Academy, will be preceded by a one-day training camp on March 4 followed by two five-day tournaments on March 5 to 9 and 11 to 15.
The camp, to be conducted by ITF representative Suresh Menon 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 Wate, are ranking points, 450 points for the singles champion and 300 and 225 points for the second and third placers, respectively. The doubles winners will get 50 points with 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’ division along with Rafaela Jean Villanueva, Meredith Jones and Janelle Llavore.
For details, contact tournament director Aaron Joshua de Leon or assistant tournament director Loida Mallare at (632) 5236415. Tournament referee is Wannawit Srirasa.