AS part of its final preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games, the national soft tennis squad will see action in the 16th World Soft Tennis Championships in Taizhou, China.
Bannered by Joseph Arcilla, Noel Damian Jr., Bien Zoleta-Mañalac and Princess Catindig, the 11-man team is hoping for an impressive performance in China, based on the previous outings of the country in the quadrennial world meet.
Arcilla took the men’s singles bronze medal in the 2011 edition, the same achievement of Zoleta-Manalac in the women’s singles four years later.
Josephine Paguyo delivered the country’s first bronze in the world tourney’s 1995 edition.
Composed of five men and six women, the Pinoy netters will all compete in the men’s and women’s singles, doubles, mixed doubles and team events.
Soft tennis is making a comeback to the SEA Games after an eight-year absence soft tennis chief Col. Jeff Tamayo is hoping to surpass the one silver and five bronze medals the Nationals won in Palembang, Indonesia in the 2011 edition when it was part of the SEA Games calendar.
Other members of the team are Catindig, Bambi Zoleta, Erdilyn Peralta, Damian Jr., Mark Anthony Alcoseba, Mikoff Manduriao and Dheo Talatayod.
In the SEA Gamest test event recently in Bulacan, the Pinoy campaigners won five bronze medals against squads from Japan, South Korea and Chinese-Taipei on top of regional rivals Thailand and Indonesia.
National coaches Mike Enriquez and Divine Escala said their charges are competitive in at least three events, singling out Catindig as a strong prospect after her solid stings in the Asian Juniors and Asian University meet, respectively.
She reached the semis of the Asian Juniors in the women’s under-21 division, following it up with another semis finish in the women’s singles in the Asian University competition on top of anchoring her team to the bronze.