Former UAAP Most Valuable Player Leander Lazaro and ITF Junior cam-paigner John Bryan Otico stunned their respective fancied foes to reach the men’s singles semifinals of the 36th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open on Thursday at the PCA indoor shell-clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Lazaro sent eight-time champion Johnny Arcilla’s PCA dream to a crashing halt with a 5-7, 6-3, 6-3 shocker, while Otico stretched his winning ways against sixth seed Elbert Anasta, 6-4, 6-2.
Otico’s awesome serves and high level baseline game held the Davis Cup veteran off in a match that lasted an hour and a half.
“I just played my game since I have nothing to lose here. Playing against veteran players here is a good experience for me,” said Otico, who clinched three ITF singles titles this year – two in Thailand and the other one in Hong Kong.
Anasta was the third seeded player who fell victim to Otico, the pride of Maramag, Bukidnon. He earlier beat 16th seed Rolando Ruel Jr. in the second round, 6-3, 6-1, and No. 4 pick Ronard Joven in the third round, 7-6 (3), 6-3.
Defending champ Patrick John Tierro vanquished National University standout Fritz Verdad, 6-1, 6-1 to secure his seat in the semis of the tournament supported by The Philippine Star, Asian Traders Dunlop, Stronghold Insurance, Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Head, United Auctioneers, Pearl Garden Hotel, Babolat, Tyrecorp Inc., PVL Restaurant, Greenfield Marketers One, Mary Grace Foods Inc., Coca-Cola Philippines-FEMSA, Kraut Art Glass, Manuel Misa and Atty. Antonio Cablitas.
Tierro will be meeting the winner between top seed Jeson Patrombon and Filipino-Italian Marc Anthony Reyes.
Meanwhile, two-time champion Clarice Patrimonio and four-time titlist Marian Jade Capadocia also blazed through to the semifinals in the ladies’ singles with identical lopsided victories.
Patrimonio and Capadocia were equally flawless against Jhastine Red Ballado (6-0, 6-0) and Sydney Ezra Enriquez (6-0, 6-0).
The 23-year-old Patrimonio battles No. 4 Shaira Rivera who won against Rachelle De Guzman, 7-6 (5), 7-5, as Capadocia clashes with Akiko De Guzman who gave the boot to Khryzelle Sampaton, 6-4, 6-7 (0), 6-2.