Sieber leads march of PCA favorites


TOP SEED Marc Sieber encountered real competition from 13-year-old Alberto Lim Jr., before prevailing, 6-3, 7-5, yesterday as the heavyweights expectedly barreled into the men’s singles quarterfinals of the Philippine Columbian Association Open tennis championships presented by Cebuana Lhuillier at PCA clay-shell courts.

After posting shut-out victories in his first two matches, the 24-year-old Filipino-German ran into a pumped-up Lim, who came into the match still smoking from his three recent ITF junior title runs.

The stocky, 5-foot-6 Lim matched Sieber’s speed and power in a surprising show of confidence against the 2010 champion who owns an ATP ranking of 516th in the world.

“It’s good to see young players showing their talents and confidence on the court, it would be very exciting playing with them in Davis Cup,” said Sieber, who reiterated plans to play for the national team next year.

But Sieber will run against another talented youngster in last year’s finalist Jurence Zosimo Mendoza, who outlasted former champ Joseph Victorino, 7-6 (7-2), 1-0 (retired).

Treat Huey, seeded seventh here, repulsed Ronard Joven, 6-3, 6-2, to also roll into the quarterfinals of the meet sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier, Kia, Dunlop, Head, Babolat, Whirlpool, PCSO and PVL Restaurants.

Huey, ranked 39th in the world in doubles, will take on former Cupper and fourth seed Elbert Anasta, who frustrated former Australian Open junior doubles titlist Francis Casey Alcantara, 7-5, 4-6, 7-5, on court No. 1.

Six-time champion Johnny Arcilla booted out spunky Filipino-Italian Marc Reyes, 6-2, 6-2, in a battle of 2009 finalists that ended in less than an hour.

Arcilla will square off with doubles teammate, former PH No. 1 and Davis Cupper Patrick John Tierro, who showed Roel Capampangan the door, 6-4, 6-0.

Jeson Patrombon also advanced to the quarters with a hard-fought 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 triumph over United States-based Kyle Dandan.

Patrombon will go up against second seed Ruben Gonzales, who progressed with an easy 6-0, 6-1 triumph over Ralph Kevin Barte.

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