The country’s top netters go up against foreign contenders when the 35th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Asian Tennis Tour unfolds today at the PCA indoor shell-clay court in Paco, Manila.
Reigning PCA men’s champion Patrick John Tierro and Davis Cup veteran Johnny Arcilla lead the locals’ campaign in the tournament sanctioned by Asian Tennis Federation and Philippine Lawn Tennis Association (Philta).
Indian stalwarts Parth Aggarwal and Medhir Goyal, Iranian Mohammadali Mamaghaninia, and Mustafa Alsaedi are expected to make things difficult for the Filipino bets.
“We’re optimistic of our chances here. We’ve been doing well in our practice and we’re looking forward to a great campaign against foreign players,” said eight-time PCA titlist Arcilla, who copped the doubles title in the Manila ITF Week 2 last year with 2009 Australian Open Boy’s Doubles champ Francis Casey Alcantara.
Filipino-Italian Marc Reyes, Davis Cup standout Elbert Anasta, Kyle Parpan, Argil Lance Canizares, Rolando Ruel, Ronand Joven, Jose Maria Pague, Mark Ervin Concepcion and Eric Olivarez Jr. will also showcase their wares in the main draw.
Reyes and Anasta will be coming in hot after making it to the semifinals of the recently concluded PCA Open men’s singles.
Arcilla, the tournament’s top seed, earned an opening round bye while Parpan battles Ruel (Center Court), and Reyes takes on Concepcion (Court 1) at 12 noon. The other matches are Anasta versus Mamaghaninia, Tierro versus Olivarez, Aggawal versus Joven, Canizares versus Goyal and Alsaedi versus Pague.
A total of $7,500 is at stake in the ATF event 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 and Monte.
The top prize of $1,200 goes to the champion, while the runner-up pockets $900.