DAVIS Cup veteran Johnny Arcilla hopes to recall his fierce form as he tries to recover from a stinging setback two weeks ago by headlining a mix of aces and rising stars chasing top honors in the Puerto Princesa City National Tennis Championships beginning Friday at the Karawatan PPS courts in Palawan.
The multi-titled Arcilla rammed into a solid Joshua Kinaadman in the semifinals of the recent Governor Edwin Jubahib Cup in Davao del Norte and dropped a 4-6, 4-6 result, making the nine-time Philippine Columbian Association Open champion eager to get back into the winning track in this week’s championship presented by Dunlop.
Spicing up the eight-day tournament, put up by Palawan Pawnshop president and CEO Bobby Castro, is the age-group championships with eight titles up for grabs, including the 16- and 18-under crowns in both the boys’ and girls’ sides. For details, contact Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.
Eight matches kick off hostilities in the 32-player Open draw with second seed Jarell Edangga clashing with Francisco Santos, Geoffrey Bautista tangling with Marco Palanca, Christian Lopez facing off Khalil Cahayag, junior champion Mcleen Gomera colliding with Mark Asia, No. 8 Randy Delavin trading shots with Henry Tana, third ranked Jose Maria Pague mixing it up with Brian Banac, Kendrick Bona battling Lexious Cruz, and Vince Serna squaring off with Evan Bacalso.
The top seeded Arcilla, a former champion here, launches his bid against John Ed Melegrito, along with seven other duels expected to provide thrill and surprise, including the Ronard Joven-Andre Santos, No. 4 Elvin Geluz-Kent Concepcion, and the No. 7 Loucas Fernandez-Abdul-Wahid Mama-o matches.
Also on tap in the Open, offering a top prize of P30,000, is the men’s doubles with Arcilla teaming up with Joven, Edangga linking up with Loucas Fernandez, Pague partnering with Lopez, and Stephen Guia joining Lance Fernandez in the hunt for the top P20,000 purse.
Leading the juniors cast in the event backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating are John David Velez, Kale Villamar, Gomera, Serna, Reign Maravilla and Josh Lim (boys), and Christine Gulagula, AJ Acabo, Francine Dizon, Angel Vosotros, Therese Gauran and Sandra Bautista (girls).