Lim forges duel with Tierro in PCA Open finals

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Alberto Lim Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Alberto Lim Jr. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Defending champion Patrick John Tierro and top junior netter Alberto Lim Jr. posted contrasting wins on Friday to arrange their men’s singles finals showdown in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event at the PCA Open clay courts in Paco, Manila.

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Lim stunned eight-time champion Johnny Arcilla, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1, in the first semifinals match.

The 16-year-old Lim, who admitted that his recent stints abroad helped him build his confidence, started off aggressively against the 35-year-old Arcilla. After faltering in the second set, he bounced back even stronger, scoring two crucial break points to turn the match in his favor.

“Suwerte lang, maganda inilaro ko nung third set, ginawa ko lang lahat ng makakaya ko para manalo. Malaking tulong rin po yung mga laro ko abroad, nakakakuha po ako ng confidence doon, in-apply ko dito sa game ko kaya maganda ang resulta,” said Lim, who took the titles in the India ITF Junior 1 and Delhi ITF Juniors last January and the China Junior 14 Nanjing in August.

The young ace, known for his explosive two-handed backhand, also booted out Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara in the quarterfinals of the event supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.

“Hindi biro na makalaban sina kuya Nino [Alcantara] at kuya Johnny. Ang ini-expect ko lang sa larong ito, laruin ko yung laro ko saka isipin na may chance po ako na manalo. Hindi ko ini-expect na magiging madali yung laban,” added Lim.

The 16-year-old Lim will be facing Tierro in the best-of-five finals. Tierro won via default after Elbert Anasta failed to show up for personal reasons.

“May advantage at disadvantage rin ito sa part ko. Advantage because I’m fresh, disadvantage dahil hindi pa ako napu-push. Si AJ parang sanay na sanay na, parang na-break in na siya. Ako baka mabigla ako,” said the 30-year-old Tierro.

Lim and Tierro, who both earned automatic tickets to the main draw of the upcoming 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2 set on October 12, will battle it out for the title tomorrow (Sunday).

Arcilla, who failed to clinch his ninth PCA title for the second time, will still be seeing action in the qualifying round of the Manila ITF along with Anasta, Alcantara, Marc Anthony Alcoseba and Ronard Joven, who all made it into the quarterfinals and semifinals of the tournament 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.

Only the winners in the doubles division will be given spots in the ITF main 16-pair main draw.

Ladies singles semis matches kick off today with the Patrimonio siblings– Clarice and Christine—hoping to stretch their winning streak all the way to the finals and arrange an all-Patrimonio fight for the crown.

Standing in their way however are fourth pick Maia Balce who will face seventh pick Christine at 9 in the morning and No. 3 Edilyn Balanga who will square off with top seed Clarice at 10 a.m.

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