TOP PLAYER. Filipino squash player Robert Andrew Garcia is one of the four players being eyed to compete in the Asian Team Championships Cheongju, South Korea from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4, 2022. Other team members are Reymark Begornia, David William Pelino and Jonathan Reyes (Contributed photo)

MANILA – The Philippine Squash Academy is planning to send four players to the Asian Team Championships set from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4 in Cheongju, South Korea.

The team is composed of Robert Andrew Garcia, Reymark Begornia, David William Pelino, Jonathan Reyes, and coach Edgar Balleber.

"The goal is to improve our ranking among the teams in Asia and at the same time, the tournament is a good opportunity for us to play against high-caliber athletes. Many Asian countries are the world's top 20," the world No. 165 Garcia said in an interview on Sunday.

The Philippines finished ninth while Malaysia was crowned champion when it hosted the 2021 edition. India was second followed by Hong Kong, Japan, Pakistan, South Korea, Iran and Iraq. Sri Lanka placed 10th while Singapore and Indonesia were 11th and 12th, respectively.

Garcia went to Australia on Aug. 14 to compete in five tournaments - - Costa North Coast Open in Coffs Harbour City, Alto Group Pennant Hills Open in Sydney, Volkswagen Open in Bega, New South Wales, Tasmanian Open and Eastside Open in Hobart City.

"I learned a lot from these tournaments. I know I still have to work on my game to become a better player," said Garcia, a quarterfinalist in Sydney.

He reached the quarterfinal of the Dynam Cup SQ-Cube Open in Yokohama, Japan last May.

Garcia pocketed two medals at the 2019 Manila SEA Games, a silver in the men's singles and a gold in the mixed team with Begornia, Pelino, Jemyca Aribado and Yvonne Alyssa Dalida.

Begornia won the men's singles gold medal at the 5th SEA Cup in 2019 while Reyes was a quarterfinalist at the 6th CMS Borneo Junior Open in Sarawak, Malaysia last month. (PNA)