The Philippines started well in their first match against 9th seed Qatar with David Pelino winning over Ahmed Al-Tamimi 11-5 / 11-6 / 3-11 / 11-7. However, Mac and Robert weren't as fortunate. Both lost in straight sets to more experienced opponents with Robert having to contend with Abdul Al-Tamimi, a player who is currently ranked no. 73 in the world. Qatar won 2-1. Results versus 8th seed Iran and top seed India weren't as fortunate either as The Philippines were just over powered by both teams. Next up for Robert, Mac, Don and David is the 2nd stage where teams will battle for placing from 9th to 16th position.
Korea, a no. 7 seed in the tournament faced the Philippines in the first match of the 2nd stage after having been upset by Singapore in the 1st stage. Using a 1/3/2 format where the 3rd and 1st ranked play the first two matches, Robert played first versus Lee Seong Joon. The Korean wasted no time in establishing himself in the court and won the 1st set 11-6.
Robert tried desperately to even the score but the Korean was just too aggressive winning the 2nd set 11-7. Lee won the match in three sets. David was up next and played Hwang Joon Won. An inspired Korean replicated his compatriot's straight sets win against his opponent. Next up for The Philippines is Taiwan.
Huang Cheng Yao vs. Robert Garcia and Chen-Chieh Ming vs. David Pelino. In the first match, Chen Chieh proved to be a steady player by winning the first two sets and only committing minimal errors. In the third set, David seemed to be hitting his stride by driving his shots down the line with accuracy and speed and won over Chien. However, in the fourth, Chien displayed the steadiness he showed in the first two sets and won the match 3 sets to 1. In the next match, Robert Garcia was simply outplayed by Huang and lost in 3 straight sets.
In the final day of the tournament, The Philippines faced China. It was a good way to end the tournament as Robert Garcia and David Pelino both won their matches in straight sets against China's Wang Jun Jie and Liang Jun. With the two wins, The Philippines secured a 15th place finish in the tournament. A modest but step up from what organizers expected from us. Overall, the boys learned a lot by facing both world ranked players and top ranking nationals. As Coach Ricky Espinola said, its not just practice time in the squash courts but conditioning in both the weight room and track oval MUST be given utmost attention to gain the much needed power and resistance in keeping up against opponents.