PROMISING youngster Ryan Pasqual stole the show in the CIMB Junior Squash Circuit as he entered the Grand Prix finals in style.
The 14-year-old SMJK Heng Ee student did Penang proud when he rounded up his campaign in the Boys’ Under-15 challenge with a sensational hat-trick.
With the third leg of the preliminary round ending in Penang, Ryan, who won the first and second legs held in Kuala Lumpur and Kuching in February and April res-pectively, added another feather to his cap when he again emerged champ.
The lad, whom Penang are looking to bring home honours in the GP finals at Bukit Jalil next month, again dominated the proceedings at the Nicol David International Squash Centre last Sunday.
Ryan, who had cleared all his matches in the third leg without dropping a set, was again in his element when he took on Kedah’s S. Puvendren in the final.
He disposed of Puvendren 11-8, 11-9, 11-8.
State coach Aaron Soyza, who felt that Ryan had done exceptionally well in all the three legs, described the lad as Penang’s best chance for honours in the coming GP finals.
“I am very impressed with Ryan’s consistency in all the three legs,” said Aaron.
“His squash career looks bright and I am confident that with proper guidance, Ryan can be transformed into a player to be reckoned with,” said Soyza.
Soyza is not impressed with Ryan alone. Heng Kee Heng, who was beaten by Ryan in the semi-finals, Vanessa Raj, Celine Yeap and Lim Jee Nee, also made the Penang coach smile with their gritty performances in the third leg challenge.
While Jee Nee fully exploited the home ground advantage to win the Girls’ Under-17 title by beating Sarawak’s S. Sivasangari 9-11, 11-5, 11-7, 11-5, Vanessa and Celine, both 15, gave a good account of themselves and raised many an eyebrow despite featuring in the Girls’ Under-19.
“Although Vanessa was shown the exit by Yong Sui Ann in the quarter-finals, she was against a player who is a national junior and of higher ranking,” said Aaron.
“Celine also did equally well to reach the final but, like Vanessa, she found Sui Ann to be a cut above. Still, she succeeded in ta-king a match off her SRAM rival.”
Celine, who was made her debut in the recent Asian Juniors Indivi-dual tournament alongside Vanes-sa, lost to Sui Ann 8-11, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11.