Defending champion Clarice Patrimonio and four-time titlist Marian Jade Capadocia posted contrasting victories to reach the ladies’ singles finals of the 36th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open on Friday at the PCA indoor shell-clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Patrimonio, daughter of former Philippine Basketball Association superstar Alvin Patrimonio, escaped with a 6-3, 0-6, 7-6 (5) win over fourth seed Shaira Rivera in a match that took nearly three hours.
Her slim win was in stark contrast with Capadocia’s seemingly effortless 6-1, 6-0 demolition of Akiko De Guzman in the other semifinals match.
Patrimonio is aiming for her third straight PCA crown, but Capadocia is by no means an easy opponent.
“That’s really my goal this year – to reclaim the crown,” said Capadocia, who has won the title four times, the last in 2014.
“It’s been two years and I’m excited to play again in the finals after two years of absence. She’s (Patrimonio) such a great player and you need to be prepared at all times kapag siya ang kalaban. I’ll just do my best,” added Capadocia, who played in ITF tournaments in Europe and Asia before competing in the PCA Open.
Reigning men’s champion Patrick John Tierro also had his hands full in the semifinals, where he came from behind to edge out top seed Jeson Patrombon 3-6, 7-6 (7), 7-5.
Tierro will play vs giant-killer John Bryan Otico, who blasted former University Athletic Association of the Philippines Most Valuable Player Leander Lazaro, 6-1, 7-5, in the tournament supported by The Philippine Star, Asiatraders 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 lawyer Antonio Cablitas.
Patrimonio and Capadocia clash at 10 a.m. on Sunday with the winner netting P50,000.
Tierro and Otico meet at noon for the P100,000 champion’s money