Davis Cup veterans Johnny Arcilla and Patrick John Tierro arranged another championship showdown after blasting their rivals in the semifinals of 35th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open Cebuana Lhuillier ATF Tour on Saturday at the PCA indoor shell-clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Eight-time PCA winner Arcilla ended the dream run of junior netter Jose Maria Pague, 6-1, 6-1, in a match that lasted just roughly an hour.
Despite what looked like an easy victory, Arcilla praised the 15-year-old Pague.
“He committed a lot of unforced errors but this kid is a promising player. He just need proper training and exposure to make it big,” said Arcilla.
Tierro, the reigning PCA Open champion, had his hands full and relied on his sharp baseline attacks to turn back Filipino-Italian Marc Reyes 7-6 (8), 6-3 in the tournament supported by The Philippine Star, Dunlop, Whirlpool-Fujidenzo, Chris Sports, Mary Grace, Aseana City, PVL Restaurant, Maverick, Compass, Babolat, Just Jewels, Rexona, Palm Rock, Coca Cola Femsa Philippines, Pearl Garden Hotel, Pearl Lane Hotel, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, L&M, Broadway Motors, Stronghold Insurance, Monte and Seno Hardware.
The finals is set at 2 p.m. today – their third title meeting in three weeks. Arcilla won the Olivarez Cup on August 21 but Tierro got back at the PCA Open finals on August 28.
“We’ve been playing for so many times. We’ll see. He’s playing really well in this tournament,” Tierro said.
Arcilla said he knows what he needs to do to win the third act.
“I just need to stay focused to set a good start against him. I had a lot of errors during the [PCA Open] finals last week and I need to minimize those errors,” Arcilla said.
Arcilla reached the semifinals after defeating Ronard Joven 6-3, 6-4, while Tierro made headway after downing Rolando Ruel Jr. 6-3, 6-2.
US$1,200 will go to today’s winner, while the runner-up will get US$900.
“I am really proud that our homegrown athletes are performing really well in this year’s tournament, which is making us all see how much tennis in our country has improved from the past years. It is truly an exciting time for Philippine tennis,” said Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, who is also the Philta chairman of the board.