Filipino-Italian Marc Reyes and junior campaigner Jose Maria Pague posted contrasting victories on Friday to reach the semifinals of the 35th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open Cebuana Lhuillier ATF Tour at the PCA indoor shell-clay court in Paco, Manila.
Pague went through a tense third set, where he came from behind, lost the upper hand and finally finished the difficult task of beating Davis Cup veteran Elbert Anasta, 1-6, 6-2, 7-6 (7), to advance to the semifinals of the tournament staged under the aegis of the Asian Tennis Federation and Philippine Lawn Tennis Association.
“I was just patient with my shots,” said Pague, a 15-year-old who studies at Zamboanga Sibugay National High School.
It was a different story for Reyes, 27, who swamped De La Salle University standout Argil Lance Canizares, 6-3, 6-3. Canizares fell in an hour and 26 minutes and hardly looked the same player who booted out India’s Medhir Goyal 6-1, 6-3 in the first round.
Reyes, who beat Mark Ervin Concepcion 6-0, 6-2 in the initial round, will play the winner of the quarterfinal match between PCA Open champion Patrick John Tierro and Rolando Ruel Jr. while Pague will meet the Johnny Arcilla-Ronard Joven game.
Filipino aces are ruling the roost following the fall of Goyal and countryman Parth Aggarwal, who was brushed aside by Ronard Joven 6-3, 6-0 in the opening round.
Iranian Mohammadali Mamaghaninia and Iraqi Mustafa Alsaedi defaulted after failing to fly in on visa issues.
The champion will receive US$1,200 and the runner-up will pocket US$900 in the US$7,500 tournament 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.
“As expected, this year’s PCA Open ATF Tour showcases the pool of talented and skilled tennis players we have in the Philippines. I am beyond proud that our players are performing great and winning their matches against foreign players,” said Cebuana Lhuillier president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, who is also the Philta chairman of the board.