Cagayan de Oro tennis sensation Francis Casey Alcantara will lead the local charge in the 21st Mitsubishi Lancer International Juniors Championships beginning March 23 at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.
Ranked No. 39 among juniors in the world, Alcantara, who became the first Filipino to win a grandslam tennis event when he bagged the boys doubles title at the Australian Open last year, has been seeded fifth in the six-day tournament, where 34 players from the top 150 in the International Tennis Federation junior rankings are seeing action.
Other Philippine players include Jeson Patrombon and Anna Clarice Patrimonio.
Patrombon will be a wildcard entry, although a string of impressive performances overseas recently has given reason for Philippine tennis officials to talk about his chances in the Grade 1 tournament.
Hungary’s Mate Zsiga, the World No. 9, has been seeded No. 1 in the tournament with the United States’ Raymond Sarmiento as second.
“We are banking on Alcantara and Patrombon for the Philippines,” said Ajay Pathak, vice-president of the Philippine Tennis Association, who is also a member of the juniors committee of the ITF.