Johnny Arcilla hopes to cap another banner season as he guns for a sweep of the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Open titles in the Dagitab Festival firing off today at the City of Naga Tennis Club in Cebu.
Arcilla has lorded it over the elite men’s field by ruling the first three of four premier events on the PPS-PEPP calendar, including a masterful 6-2, 6-3 romp over fellow Davis Cup campaigner and long-time rival PJ Tierro in the Pintaflores Festival Open in San Carlos City last month. He had earlier edged Tierro in four to keep the Olivarez Cup crown for the third time in four years last August then held off Leander Lazaro, 7-5, 6-1, to retain the Tunafest Open diadem in Gen. Santos City last Sept.
Keen competition is also seen in the women’s side of the event serving as the final leg of this year’s 45-stage PPS-PEPP circuit sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger with top seed Clarice Patrimonio shooting for a third straight Open crown after topping the TunaFest and Pintaflores Open, both over Khim Iglupas.
“It has been another great year for Philippine tennis as far as development and providing exposure for our young aspiring players are concerned,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro. “The PPS-PEPP circuit will continue to promote the sport and give our players, particularly the youth, the venue where they could hone their talent and skills and gain ranking points.”
But while Arcilla remains the top favorite to score a repeat and complete another sweep of the Open plums, Tierro, Lazaro and the 29 other players in the 32-man draw are raring to foil his bid in the five-day tournament sanctioned by Philta and backed by Asiatraders Corp., exclusively distributor of Slazenger
But Iglupas, who first overwhelmed Patrimonio in the Olivarez Cup, and the 14 others in the roster are also out to foil not only Patrimonio’s bid but also that of Iglupas, a recent Phinma International winner.
Also on tap is the mixed doubles with the top two pairs of Tierro-Patrimonio and Arcilla-Iglupas tipped to clash for the championship.
Others competing in the men’s side are No. 3 Vicente Anasta, Fritz Verdad, Ronard Joven, Bryan Otico and John Altiche along with Mark Alcoseba, Jose Maria Pague, Jan Seno, Dave Mosqueda, Roel Capangpangan, Venz Alforque, Marcen Gonzales and Kim Saraza.
Young Shaira Rivera, toughened up by her stint in the recent Phinma International, is also expected to figure prominently in the women’s side along with Erika Manduriao, Melanie Dizon, Chloe Saraza, Aileen Rogan and Audrey Calma.
For details, contact Bobby Mangunay, PPS-PEPP Regional Age Group Tennis Event organizer and Sports Program Development director at 09154046464.