Alberto Lim Jr. is nearly half Patrick John Tierro’s age, but he showed more maturity on the court as he seized the men’s singles title on a 6-3, 7-6 (5) victory in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event on Sunday at the PCA clay courts in Paco, Manila.
In the ladies’ side, Clarice Patrimonio reached a milestone as she disposed off Maia Balce, 6-4, 6-3, to take home her first PCA crown after two runner-up finishes.
The 16-year-old Lim, who had to put a stop to Tierro’s late charge, is now the youngest PCA men’s champion in the event supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao. He edged out 1982 winner Manny Tolentino by two months.
It got a little testy in the second set, admitted Lim.
“Sobrang pressured po ako dahil mabigat na kalaban si PJ. Nung second set, talagang ibinuhos ko na lahat, nag-step up talaga ako and I am happy na nakuha ko ang panalo,” said Lim, who had a tough route to the finals having to go through eight-time PCA champ Johnny Arcilla and before that Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara.
It was a different story for Patrimonio, who conducted a clinic in the second set to thwart Balce’s efforts.
“It wasn’t an easy game. Medyo marami akong errors sa first set, dun siya nakakakuha ng puntos kaya I started minimizing my errors in the second set then pina-spin ko lang ‘yung serve ko,” said the beaming Patrimonio. “Sobrang sarap ng feeling na finally mailalagay na ‘yung pangalan ko sa Hall of Fame wall ng PCA. May Patrimonio nang nakalagay ‘dun kaya sobrang thankful ako.”
Patrimonio took home P20,000, while Balce bagged P10,000 in the tournament supported by Whilpool/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.
Lim, on the other hand, took the top purse of P50,000, while Tierro gets P25,000.
Lim, the country’s lone representative in the boys’ singles tournament of Wimbledon, had also won the titles in the India ITF Junior 1 and Delhi ITF Juniors last January and the China Junior 14 Nanjing in August. Come October 12, Lim and Tierro will be competing in the main draw of the upcoming 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2, also at the PCA indoor court.
Veteran netters Elbert Anasta, Marc Anthony Alcoseba, Francis Casey Alcantara, Ronard Joven and Arcilla will try their luck in the qualifying round.
The dynamic duo of Tierro and Arcilla had to shake off a disappointing start as they rallied to defeat Francis Casey Alcantara and Ronard Joven, 3-6, 6-3, 10-7.
Tierro and Arcilla will advance into the ITF doubles 16-pair main draw.
In ladies doubles, Patrimonio and teammate Shaira Rivera outlasted Marinel Rudas and Edilyn Balanga, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (2).