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Saturday, April 20, 2024

Arcilla eyes 3rd straight title in Naga Open

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JOHNNY ARCILLA shifts his focus to Cebu as he tries to cap another prolific season in the Naga Open National Tennis Championships unfolding Friday at the City of Naga tennis courts.

Arcilla has dominated not only the last two Open singles—in Cainta (Rizal) and Apalit (Pampanga)—of the annual circuit under the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) banner, but also the Puerto Princesa Open last October and the Pintaflores Festival Open in San Carlos, Negros Occidental last month, making the 42-year-old ace still the player to beat in the upcoming Group A tournament serving as part of the Dagitab Festival celebrations.

But a mix of young and seasoned campaigners go all-out to foil his bid, including second seed Jose Maria Pague, Vicente Anasta, Eric Jed Olivarez, Norman Enriquez, Maclean Barraquias, Stephen Guia and Charles Kinaadman, whom Arcilla beat in the Brookside and Zentro Open the past two weeks.

But Kinaadman, who upended Arcilla in the semis and went on to capture the Gov. Jubahib Cup Open in Davao del Norte last September, hopes to draw inspiration from his fellow Cebuanos with an eye on getting back at the veteran Davis Cupper and fuel his own title bid.

If the chart goes according to form, Arcilla and the fifth-ranked Kinaadman may meet again in the Final Four of the event put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro on top of the country-wide junior circuit.

Jeremiah Tomacruz, John Altiche, Christian Lopez, Nilo Ledama, Bryan Saarenas, Kristian Tesorio, Elvin Geluz, Jelic Amazona, Jan Seno and Israel Abarquez, Jr. are also vying in the tournament supported by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating.

Meanwhile, 20 players slug it out for four berths in Thursday’s qualifiers with the likes of Noel Salupado, Hakim Boloto, Pablo Gonzaga, Joseph Singson, Chat Conta, Hans Cabellon, Gio Manito and Vince Serna tipped to clash for spots into the 32-player main draw of the annual event presented by Dunlop.

Also on tap are the Legends 35 and 45 men’s singles, the Legends men’s doubles 40s and 50s and the Classified men’s doubles, according to event organizer Bobby Mangunay, For details, call 09154046464.

Arcilla switches partners as he links up with Anasta in pursuit of another doubles diadem with Zentro Open teammate Nilo Ledama now with Pague with Kinaadman and Olivarez forging a strong partnership.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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