Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and eight-time PCA Open titlist Johnny Arcilla reached the doubles semifinals of the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier ITF Men’s Futures 2 at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Alcantara and Arcilla prevailed over national teammates Patrick John Tierro and Elbert Anasta, 6-4, 6-2, to secure a spot in the Final Four.
The stellar combo of Alcantara and Arcilla will battle Soichiro Moritani and Masato Shiga of Japan, who defeated fellow Japanese fourth seeds Issei Okamura and Kento Takeuchi, 7-6 (4), 7-6 (2).
In the other semis match, No. 1 Katsuki Nagao and Hiromasa Oku of Japan were to meet No. 3 Harry Bourchier of Australia and Lin Wei-de of Taiwan.
However, the hammer fell on the Philippine campaign in the singles division after top seed Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain bounced out Alcantara.
The 24-year-old Spaniard relied heavily on his experience against the local bet, 6-3, 6-3, as he breezed into the semifinal round of the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
“He’s just too strong especially his serve. Making it into the quarterfinals is still a good finish for me,” said Alcantara, who eclipsed his second round finish in the Manila ITF Men’s Futures 1.
Lopez-Perez, who exploded with 14 aces, arranged a duel with fourth seed Arata Onozawa of Japan, who overpowered Kunal Anand of India, 6-1, 6-1, in the event supported by Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Femsa Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel, Metro Global Holdings Corporation, Avida, PVL Restaurant, Mary Grace Foods, Inc., Seno Hardware and Wire Rope Corporation.
Third seed Kento Takeuchi of Japan also made it to the semifinals after surviving No. 8 Yu Cheng-Yu of Chinese-Taipei, 6-4, 7-6 (5). Takeuchi will meet the winner between No. 6 Makoto Ochi of Japan and Katsuki Nagao also from Japan.
“I’m glad to see our players come up with better performances this week. They have shown that they can be at par with some of the world-ranked players. I see a great future for Philippine tennis with the emergence of young players like Nino, Jeson and AJ and we will continue to support them,” said Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier.
A total of $15,000 US dollars is up for grabs with the champ getting $2,160 while the runner-up takes home $1,272.