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Resurgent Arcilla caps season with victory

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JOHNNY Arcilla closed the tennis season with a second successive tournament triumph, besting Jeson Patrombon, 6-4, 6-4, 3-5, 7-5, yesterday for the La Consolacion Men’s Open invitational championship in Las Piñas.

The 32-year-old Arcilla, who whipped himself into shape through a tough running regimen the past four months, got the better of the 19-year-old Patrombon, who serves as his hitting partner at the Philippine Tennis Academy.

“I’m in very good shape,” said Arcilla, the veteran Davis Cup player who wrapped up a historic seventh men’s singles title at the PCA Open with stunning wins over Fil-German top seed Marc Sieber in the semifinals and Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales in the finals.

A long-time national player who never had the chance to play in the international pro circuit except for occasional wild-card berths, Arcilla is enjoying a career rebirth after a dip in his performance early in the year.

“I trained very hard and tried to hit with Jeson and Francis Casey (Alcantara),” added Arcilla, who never tasted defeat in the week-long tournament which gathered the country’s top players.

Arcilla downed 13-year-old junior wonder AJ Lim, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1, and Fil-Italian Marc Reyes, 6-3, 6-3, to top his bracket and then whipped Patrombon, 6-3, 6-4, to advance to the semifinals, where he downed PJ Tierro, 6-4, 3-6, 76 (7-4).

Arcilla picked up the P60,000 top purse, while Patrombon pocketed P30,000. Elbert Anasta and Tierro each earned P15,000 for making the semifinals.

The other players who saw action in the event patterned after the ATP Masters were Kyle Dandan and Rolando Ruel.


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