Alex Eala and her Spanish partner Marina Bassols Ribera during their doubles match in W25 Palma del Rio

Alex Eala and her Spanish partner Marina Bassols Ribera during their doubles match in W25 Palma del Rio. –ALEX EALA PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — Alex Eala and her Spanish partner Marina Bassols Ribera reached the semifinals of the W25 Palma del Rio after taking down Marta Huqi Gonzales Encinas and Ashley Lahey, 6-1, 6-3, on Thursday.

Eala and Bassols Ribera, the finalists of W60 Madrid women’s singles, dominated the Spanish-American pair in the opening set and fended off a comeback threat in the second set to finish their quarterfinal duel in just an hour.

After a rampant first set, the Filipino-Spanish tandem led the second frame with a 4-0 lead before Encinas and Lahey trimmed it down to 5-3 but the N0.4 seed duo displayed composure to close out the match.

Eala and Bassols Ribera will face No. 1 seed Valeria Savinykh of Russia and Fanny Stollar of Hungary in the semifinal on Friday.

The 17-year-old Filipino tennis star finally got over the hump in doubles after three straight quarterfinals exit in W25 and W60 Madrid weeks ago and W25 Macon last February.

Eala, who lost to Bassols Ribera in the W60 Madrid final two weeks ago, started her doubles campaign with her rival-turned-partner with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Spain’s Adriana Cortes and Patricia Rodriguez Carretero on Wednesday.

The Rafael Nadal Academy is also set to face second-seed Jessika Ponchet of France in the Round of 16 of the women’s singles also on Friday.

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