By CARLO ANOLIN
Prodigious Alex Eala showed why she’s a two-time Grand Slam in girls’ doubles as she led the march of the Filipinos into the quarters of tennis competitions in the 31st Southeast Asian Games Tuesday at the Bac Ninh’s Hanaka Sports and Service Center in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Eala’s solid ball striking was in full display and so was her energy in her 6-1, 6-1 demolition of Phonephathep Philavong of Laos.
Janaila Rose Prulla also barged into the women’s single quarterfinal via walkover win against Malaylack Pathummakuronen of Laos due to medical reasons.
In men’s double action, Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Petrombon were equally ruthless in 6-1, 6-1 win over Cambodia’s Mathew David Krusling and Samneang Long.
Alcantara and partner Marian Jade Capadocia also cruised past Malaysian opponents in Syed Mohamad Agil Syed Naguib and Jawairiah Noordin in mixed doubles.
A win in the quarterfinal will assure them of at least a bronze medal in the biennial regional meet.
Eala, who is the No. 2 seed in the tournament, will next face Lynelle En Tong Lim of Singapore while Prullla battles top-seeded home bet Chanelle Vang Nguyen of host Vietnam.
Both the men’s team composed of Petrombon, Alcantara, Ruben Gonzales, Treat Huey, Eric Olivarez Jr. and the women’s squad of Eala, Capadocia, Prulla, and Shaira Rivere are fresh from bronze medal finishes in the team event over the weekend.