MANILA – The Philippines has pocketed one silver and three bronze medals at the 6th Indonesia Soft Tennis Championships held from Dec. 1-4 in Jakarta.
Joseph Arcilla and Sherwin Nuguit delivered the silver medal in the men's doubles category where they lost to He-na A and Meng Ju Hsieh of Chinese Taipei, 4-5 (6-8), in the final.
Adjuthor Moralde and George Patrick Mendoza took the bronze medal in the men's doubles category after bowing to Arcilla and Nuguit, 2-4, in the semifinal round.
Nuguit got another bronze medal when he bowed to Mario Harley Alibasa of Indonesia, 3-4 (1-7), in the semifinal of the singles category.
Christy Sanosa also contributed a bronze medal when she absorbed a 0-4 loss to Cheng Jui Ting of Chinese Taipei in the women's singles category.
"I played well but my opponent played better," said Arcilla in an interview on Friday. He is a member of the gold-winning men's team at the 2019 Manila Southeast Asian Games.
"The team prepared really hard for this tournament because we know that those playing in the 2023 Cambodia SEA Games will be joining, too," said the younger brother of Johnny Arcilla, a 10-time Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) champion.
"It's also a good warm-up for us because we played against Chinese Taipei players who are very strong. We had a rigorous training before going to Indonesia, that's why we won the silver medal," said Arcilla, who was No. 1 in the Philippines and No. 3 in the world rankings from 2011 to 2015.
Arcilla won the singles bronze medal and team silver at the Jakarta-Palembang SEA Games in 2011. In the same year, he bagged the singles bronze medal at the Korea World Cup and team event gold at the Laos Open.
His other medals came from the 2012 Asian Championships in Chinese Taipei (bronze, singles and team), 2013 Thailand International Championships (gold, singles), 2013 Malaysia Championships (gold, singles) and 2014 Incheon Asian Games Test Event (gold, singles).
Meanwhile, head coach Divina Escala said the players learned a lot from the tournament.
"I was hoping for better results in terms of podium finish in the target events of the coaches but there are Chinese Taipei players in all the draws that we have to beat," she said.
"It was a good experience because we were able to identify the players in terms of how they would overcome and solve every situation per game. The game is a short and fast game. They have to learn how to attack and at the same time, learn defensive plays," Escala said.
"We only have five months remaining before the Cambodia SEA Games so the players need to really train hard if they really want to win the gold. Of course, work together because the team will not be successful if the new players will always rely on the seniors," she said.
The Cambodia SEA Games features seven events in soft tennis, namely men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, women's doubles, mixed doubles, men's team and women's team.
"So next year, we're waiting for the test event and hopefully, another training camp," Escala said. Her assistant coaches are Michael Inrequez, Roel Licayan, and Bing Paguyo. (PNA)