Ma won’t let Pantino join ITF event

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Saturday, July 19, 2014


THE Philippine Tennis Association wants to send Cebuano tennis prodigy Arthur Craig Pantino to the International Tennis Federation Juniors tournament but the mother of the 14-year-old says it’s not a good move.

Lourdes Pantino says she wants her son to concentrate on Asian Tennis Federation events as he is not ready to play in ITF-level tournaments.

According to the ATF website, Pantino is currently at No. 6 in the U14 division, trailing No. 1 Han Seon Yong of Korea, Adil Kalyanpur of India, Ali Dawani of Brunei, Ali Sahibzada of Pakistan and Jeong Yeongseok of Korea.

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“We feel that Iggy is not yet ready for this. He just started playing in ATF-sanctioned tournaments and just won two titles. We believe it’s not enough. That’s why we are hoping that PTA will just let him focus playing in ATF-sanctioned tournaments,” said Lourdes.

Lourdes said her son has two more years in the ATF.

“He has more two years to enjoy and take advantage of the opportunity and to maintain
his ranking,” said Lourdes.

“ITF tournaments are very tough tournament, wala pa siya ka rule sa ATF how much more sa ITF? We believe it’s too early for him to be playing in this kind of level of tournament,” said Lourdes.

Pantino has played once in the ATF Championship series last year in Vietnam and managed to secure the top 21 in the first leg and top 18 in the second leg.

“If given a chance, we want him to focus on ATF tournaments for now and by next year, he should be ready for ITF-sanctioned tournaments,” said Lourdes.

Lourdes hopes that Pantino will be given a chance by PTA to play in the ATF tournaments in September in Malaysia and in October in Thailand. It was in Thailand that Pantino won two titles out of five legs.

“We are hoping that he can play in Thailand and defend his titles,” said Lourdes.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 20, 2014.

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