DAVAO City standouts Shaira Hope Rivera and Danna Mariella Abad helped the Philippines girls tennis team to salvage the bronze medal after crushing Malaysia, 5-0, in the 9th Asean School Games Tennis Championship 2017 at Tanglin Academy in Singapore on Monday, July 17.
Rivera, a former Sta. Ana National High School mainstay but is now with De La Salle-Zobel, eked out a rousing 9-1 victor over Ezatul Syafiqah while the tandem of Abad and Melanie Faye Dizon crushed Nor Siti Eissya and Hannah Yip, 9-2, in the second doubles.
Filipino Alexei Xira Santos defeated Chloe Chong Zhi Jing, 9-4, in second singles as Zethey Mae Alferez and Allyssa Mae Bornia overcame Malaysian pair Nor Aida-Haarini, 9-5, in first doubles and Gennifer Lysandra Dagen bested Sukirthi Chandran, 9-4, in third singles.
Girls coach Marivic Loquinario, in a Facebook interview with SunStar Davao on Tuesday, July 18, said: "Bronze ra jud sa team among nakuha. Hangtud ra jud mig quarters sa individuals kay pirting kusuga sa Thailand og Indonesia (We only got a bronze in the team event. We only reached the quarterfinals in the individual events since Thailand and Indonesia players are really strong)."
She said that the country's doubles girls team could have advanced as they were leading but were much affected by the bad calls.
"Kulang jud tag tarong nga training. Ang Pinoy athletes kusgan ra sa pirmiro dili lang jud maka-sustain hangtud mahuman ang match. Sa skill pareho ra ta sa Thailand ug Indonesia ang kulang ra proper training, equipment and facilities (Our players really lack the proper training. They're only good at the start, they start strong but could not sustain until the end. We are even with Thailand and Indonesia in skills but we lack proper training, equipment and facilities)," the veteran coach from Sta. Ana National High School added.
She also said that she had a talk with Department of Education staff and other coaches after the tournament and suggested to have a one-month training for strength and conditioning one month before an international competition to improve their players' endurance.