Arcilla smashes way to Lanao Open title


JOHNNY ARCILLA kept the resolve, the drive and the will to win and booked another open crown after subduing Eric Jed Olivarez for the second straight time, 6-3, 6-2, to rule the Marawi Open Tennis Championship at the Mindanao State University courts in Lanao del Sur last Thursday.

Arcilla, 43, was in control all match-long, breaking Olivarez in the seventh game and then clinching the opening set with another break in the ninth while holding serve four times. He nearly broke his younger rival right in the third game but needed to toughen up to defuse Olivarez’s charge in the sixth.

But he re-imposed his will in the next, breaking Olivarez in the second game while holding serve thrice on his way to another trouble-free win the way he fashioned out a 6-3, 6-1 romp in last week’s Lanao del Norte Open at the MCC courts in Tubod.

The top-seeded 10-time Philippine Columbian Association Open champion earlier trounced Dave Mosqueda, 6-2, 6-1, to forge another title clash with No. 2 Olivarez, who blasted third-ranked Nilo Ledama, 6-1, 6-0, in their side of the semis duel in the 10-day event sponsored by Vice Gov. Mohammad Khalid Raki-in Adiong and held in partnership with Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala program put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro.

The victory was worth another P80,000 for Arcilla, who racked up five Open victories last year and has so far won three halfway through the season, including the Escudero Cup last February. He has stayed in top form through diet and training and the help of his coaches and Dr. Mace Navales Licuanan.

Arcilla actually came up short in the Malita Open, yielding to eventual winner John Bryan Otico in the semis but bounced back strong to sweep the Lanao swing of the circuit.

Event organizer Bobby Mangunay also said Lanao del Sur has guaranteed a bigger, richer staging next year with the PPS-PEPP also putting up a grassroots program, including free (tennis) clinics to the aspiring and regular junior campaigners.

“Lanao del Sur is safe and the Maranaos are very hospitable people. We are all looking forward to another successful staging next year and we invite all the tennis buffs and fans to visit Marawi,” said Mangunay.

Arcilla, meanwhile, teamed up with Ledama as they crushed Olivarez and Mosquea, 6-2, 6-3, to claim the doubles crown in the event also held as part of the 64th Araw ng Lanao del Sur celebrations.

Sharing the top podium are juniors champions Brice Baisa from Puerto Princesa, who downed Evan Bacalso, 6-4, 6-0, for the 18-and-under title, while Dave Palanas edged Al Rasheed Lucman, 5-3, 4-2, in the consolation round.

Other winners were Johair Ali and Abdul Halim Sarip (Legends doubles 30s), Alisabri Tomawis and Jainoden Tanggote (40s), Lindy Limbona and Ansary Sumandar (50s) and Ameroden Abdul Wahab and Alikhan Calandada (60s).

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