The duo of Bambi Zoleta and Akiko De Guzman won the ladies’ doubles title of the 36th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open.
Zoleta, the 2008 singles winner, and the NCAA champion De Guzman shook off a tight first set before posting a 7-6 (4), 6-1 victory over Khryzelle Sampaton and Rachelle De Guzman on Saturday at the PCA indoor shell-clay courts in Paco, Manila.
“It’s my first title since winning the ladies’ singles crown nine years ago. Our chemistry was not good in the early rounds but we made it through the very important finals match,” said Zoleta, 25, who works as a receptionist at Shangri-La Bonifacio Global City.
Her partnership with De Guzman came by accident. De Guzman said she wanted to concentrate on the singles but after Zoleta’s partner backed out for personal reasons, one thing led to another.
“I just want to concentrate on the singles then someone approached me asking if I can play with her (Zoleta) and I grabbed it. I’m happy playing with her and winning this title,” said De Guzman, who was a member of the College of Saint Benilde team that won the NCAA championships in 2015 and 2016. She is now a member of the De La Salle University squad.
Zoleta and De Guzman took home P20,000 while Sampaton and the other De Guzman won P10,000 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.
Zoleta and De Guzman made it to the finals by ousting Jenni Dizon and Jed Aquino, 6-3, 6-4, while Sampaton and De Guzman shocked top seeds Marian Jade Capadocia and Jella Capadocia, 1-6, 6-1, 10-6, in the semifinals.
The women’s and men’s singles finals get going today, with four-time champion Marian Jade battling reigning titlist Clarice Patrimonio at 10 a.m. Defending champion Patrick John Tierro will face ITF juniors campaigner John Bryan Otico at noon.