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Pinoy bets bomb out

The sad state of Philippine tennis was once again exposed as young guns AJ Lim, Jeson Patrombon and Francis Casey Alcantara fell one after another in the ATP Challenger Philippine Open at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

One of the four Filipino wildcard bets, Patrombon’s first Challenger appearance ended disastrously as he absorbed a 6-2, 6-2 defeat to fifth seed Kimmer Coppejans of Belgium yesterday,

Patrombon thus became the second Filipino bet to lose in the first round after Lim yielded to unseeded David Guez of France, 6-4, 6-0, late Monday night.

Alcantara was the third Filipino casualty after losing to No. 207 Amir Weintraub of Israel, 6-1, 6-3.

The Filipino players tried hard but their best were not enough against the players toughened by years of playing in several Challenger tournaments.

Patrombon admitted that their lack of exposures abroad hastened to their downfall.

“Nanibago lang ako. Maganda yung serve niya saka consistent siya. Hindi siya nagbibigay ng easy points,” said Patrombon.

Coppejans, however, had nice words for Patrombon.

“He’s playing fast for his height. He has a fast arm,” said the world No. 128 Coppejans, a 2012 French Open juniors champion.

The defeat of Alcantara left Ruben Gonzales as the only Filipino standing in the tournament offering $75,000 in prizes.

In other matches, top seed Luca Vanni of Italy whipped Frederico Ferreira Silva of Portugal, 6-3, 6-2, while Japanese Davis Cupper Go Soeda bested Italian Roberto Marcora, 7-6 (4), 6-1.

Spain’s Oriol Roca Batalla, meanwhile, pulled off the tournament’s first upset with a stunning 7-5, 6-7 (0), 7-6 (4) triumph over No. 8 Somdev Devvarman of India late Monday.