Alcantara-Arcilla duo repels Japanese

Francis Casey Alcantara (left) and Johnny Arcilla CONTRIBUTED P

Francis Casey Alcantara (left) and Johnny Arcilla CONTRIBUTED P

Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and eight-time PCA Open titlist Johnny Arcilla stunned top seeds Katsuki Nagao and Hiromasa Oku of Japan, 6-2, 6-2, to win the doubles title of the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier ITF Men’s Futures 2 on Saturday at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.

Drawing inspiration from the hometown crowd, the Alcantara-Arcilla duo breezed through to the finals after beating Soichiro Moritani and Masato Shiga of Japan, 6-1, 6-3, Friday night in the semifinals round of the tournament supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

“Siniguro lang namin na hindi kami magre-relax ngayon kasi we’re playing nothing to lose naman. Sobrang ganda ng partnership namin, mabilis si Johnny, mabilis din ako kaya medyo nagugulat yung kalaban namin sa mga returns namin,” said the 23-year-old Alcantara, who, along with Arcilla, surpassed their semifinal-round finish in the Manila ITF Men’s Futures 1.

This was the first ITF title for Alcantara and Arcilla.

“Maganda ang chemistry namin. Mabilis kami magka-intindihan sa loob ng court kaya sobrang saya ko dahil first time namin magka-partner ni Nino tapos champion pa. First ITF title ko ito sa buong career ko,” said the 35-year-old Arcilla.

The top-seeded combo of Nagao and Oku defeated No. 3 Harry Bourchier of Australian and Lin Wei-Din of Chinese-Taipei, 6-2, 6-2, in their semis match of 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.

In the men’s singles, top seed Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain and third pick Kento Takeuchi of Japan arranged their title showdown via similar hard-earned wins.

Lopez-Perez, 24, needed an hour and 43 minutes to turn back fourth seed Arata Onozawa of Japan, 6-4, 3-6, 6-1, in the first semis match. Takeuchi, on the other hand, had to shake off a lousy start to trounce, 2-6, 6-0, 6-1, against sixth seed and Manila ITF Men’s Futures 1 champion Makoto Ochi of Japan.

The Spanish netter, who will face off with Takeuchi at 12 noon today, is gunning be his second singles title copping his first in Chandigarh, India, last March.

Takeuchi wants to erase the memory of his final’s loss against Ochi in the first leg.

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.


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