Johnny Arcilla is brimming with confidence as he gears up for another crack at the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Open crown starting Monday for the Pintaflores Festival at the Sakata Tennis Club in San Carlos City, Negros Occidental.
The Davis Cup veteran won the Olivarez Cup men’s Open crown last August, ruled the Tuna Festival Open in Gen. Santos City last September then dominated the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo last week, lining him up for another shot at a sweep of the five premier titles on the PPS-PEPP calendar for the second straight year.
The last PPS-PEPP Open tilt is the Dagitab Festival in Naga City, Cebu on December 18 to 22.
But a slew of rivals are out to stop the many-time PCA Open champion, including Olivarez Cup finalist PJ Tierro and Leander Lazaro, whom Arcilla repulsed in Gen. Santos. Also in the fold are Vicente Anasta, Leander Lazaro, Fritz Verdad, Marc Reyes, Arvin Ruel and Roel Capangpangan.
“This is a great two weeks of tennis and we’re inviting all tennis aficionados and fans to watch the Pintaflores Tennis Festival, which features not just the country’s top and upcoming junior players but also the elite,” said San Carlos City Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr., who also cited the all-out support of local organizer councilor Criston Carmona and the LGUs of San Carlos.
Focus will also be on the women’s side with Clarice Patrimonio and Khim Iglupas tipped to slug it out again for the coveted crown after splitting the two Open diadems in the circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.
“We’re expecting a battle royale in both sides of the Open division and these elite players will continue to inspire the young ones and fruther boost the development of the sport,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Iglupas swept Patrimonio in the Olivarez Cup finals but the latter struck back in the Tuna Festival Open, hacking out a three-set win and making next week’s Pintaflores Open truly an event to watch.
Others seeing action in the women’s side of the event, backed by former Rep. Jules Ledesma IV and Vice Gov. Bong Lacson, are young guns Shaira Rivera, Hanna Espinosa, Akiko de Guzman, Erika Manduriao, Chloe Mae Saraza and Rachele de Guzman.
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