PERFECT ENDING?: Arcilla looks to sweep major titles as men’s open event of Dagitab Festival tennis starts

By: John Carlo Villaruel December 16,2016 - 09:51 PM

The country’s number one tennis player Johnny Arcilla guns for a stellar end to what has been a banner year for him as he looks to sweep the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) major titles when action in the open division of the Dagitab Festival Tennis Open gets going today at the City of Naga Tennis Club in southern Cebu.

Arcilla has been a dominant force in the elite men’s field, ruling the first three of this year’s four premier events of PPS-PEPP.

Ranked number one in the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA), Arcilla scored a masterful 6-2, 6-3 romp over fellow Davis Cup campaigner and long-time rival PJ Tierro in the Pintaflores Festival Open in San Carlos City last month. Prior to that, Arcilla edged Tierro to keep the Olivarez Cup crown for the third time in four years last August then held off Leander Lazaro, 7-5, 6-1, to retain the Tunafest Open diadem in General Santos City last September.

Aside from Tierro and Lazaro, 29 other players in the 32-man draw are raring to foil Arcilla’s bid in the five-day tournament.

Other players to watch out for are No. 3 seed Vicente Anasta, Fritz Verdad, Ronard Joven, Bryan Otico and John Altiche along with Mark Alcoseba, Jose Maria Pague, Cebuano Jan Godfrey Seno, Dave Mosqueda, Roel Capangpangan, Venz Alforque, Marcen Gonzales and Kim Saraza.

“It has been another great year for Philippine tennis as far as development and providing exposure for our young aspiring players are concerned,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “The PPS-PEPP circuit will continue to promote the sport and give our players, particularly the youth, the venue where they could hone their talent and skills and gain ranking points.”

Exciting competition is also expected in the women’s side with top seed Clarice Patrimonio shooting for a third straight Open crown after topping the TunaFest and Pintaflores Open–all at Khim Iglupas’ expense.

But Iglupas, who first overwhelmed Patrimonio in the Olivarez Cup, and the 14 others in the roster are also out to foil not only Patrimonio’s bid but also that of Shaira Hope Rivera, a recent Phinma International Tennis competitor.

Also expected to figure prominently in the women’s side are Erika Manduriao, Melanie Dizon, Chloe Saraza, Aileen Rogan and Audrey Calma.

Enriquez, Alforque make semis

Meanwhile, everything nearly went according to plan for Cebuano netter Venz Alforque.

In the morning match yesterday, Alforque scored his most lopsided victory in the tournament by dominating Raphael Merced 6-0, 6-0, to set up a 16-under semifinal round showdown with Mark Albarracin today.

The University of Cebu (UC) ace fell short of earning two semis berths after he bowed to fellow Cebuano Norman Joseph Enriquez, 7-6 (2), 6-1, in their 18-under boys quarterfinal match.

Up next for Enriquez is a semifinal match with RJ Singson.

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TAGS: Bryan Otico and John Altiche along with Mark Alcoseba, Cebuano Jan Godfrey Seno, Dave Mosqueda, Fritz Verdad, guns, Johnny Arcilla, Jose Maria Pague, Kim Saraza, Marcen Gonzales, Palawan, Palawan Express, Palawan Pawnshop, Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala, Pera Padala, Philippine Tennis Association, Philta, PPS-PEPP, Roel Capangpangan, Ronard Joven, Venz Alforque, Vicente Anasta

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