Reigning titlist Patrick John Tierro clobbered qualifier Renz Lapating, 8-3, to advance to the second round of the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event on Thursday at the PCA Open clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Tierro arranged a second-round meeting with Ken Phillip Pardela, who defeated Francis Segumpan, 8-5, in the other first-round match.
“The court is too slow. It’s clay and slower than the old shell court. I’m not used to slow courts, I like them fast. It was a struggle for me. But a win is a win,” said Tierro, who is gunning for back-to-back titles in the event supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
Besides the PCA title, Tierro also has his eyes set on the upcoming 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2 slated on October 2.
The finalists in the men’s singles will earn automatic spots in the main draw, while the netters who make it to the quarterfinals and semifinals will gain access to the qualifying round of the prestigious event.
Only the winners in the doubles division will be given spots in the ITF main draw.
“It’s a different court now. Last year, I wasn’t expecting anything. I just played my game and the result was good. Hopefully, I will do the same thing this year. I’m not overly confident because there are many good opponents. So, we’ll see,” Tierro said.
Action continues to heat up today as eight-time PCA titlist Johnny Arcilla, former Australian Open junior doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and ITF junior campaigner Alberto Lim Jr. meet their respective opponents in the men’s singles division of the tournament also sponsored by Whilpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Fesma Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel and Metro Global Holdings Corporation.
Arcilla, whose goal is to reclaim his crown after a heartbreaking loss against Tierro last year, will face Laurence Obdina at 11:45 a.m. in the morning, following Lim’s 11 a.m. match-up with Rey Mayo.
The 23-year-old Alcantara, on the other hand, will go head to head against Dale Gorospe at 2:45 p.m.
Meanwhile, Jake Martin, Francis Jeff Pantino, James Sumaylo, Francis Dominic Lanzado, Carl Ubalde, Francis Edilbert Alcantara, John Jeric Accion and Dale Gorospe earned spots in the main draw after defeating their respective rivals in the qualifying round.
Martin beat Andrew Tangalin (8-4); Pantino outlasted Jeremiah Latorre (8-5); Sumaylo overpowered Ronald Roces (8-5); Lanzado got off easy with a walkover win against Marc Concepcion; Ubalde crushed Joen Mendoza (8-0); Alcantara bested Rodolfo Agna (8-2); Accion clobbered Jaffary Cariga (8-0); and Gorospe thumped Dave Bienes (8-3).