Alcantara-Arcilla snares ITF Futures 2 doubles crown
with the crowd behind them Francis Casey Alcantara and Johnny Arcilla completed a Cinderella finish Saturday, routing the Japanese top seeds to cop the doubles title in the 34th Philippine Columbian Association Open-Cebuana Lhuillier ITF Men’s Futures 2.
The hometown tandem, entered here as wild cards and playing only for the second time as partners, shocked Katsuki Nagao and Hiromasa Oku, 6-2, 6-2, to bag the title.
“They were probably surprised of our quickness,” said Alcantara who along with Arcilla showcased highlight-reel volleys, drops and sharply angled returns that stirred that crowd at the resurfaced PCA clay courts.
It was the 35-year-old Arcilla’s first ever ITF Futures title, the same thing for the 23-year-old Alcantara who debuted to the pro ranks last week. They started their partnership in Futures 1 at Valle Verde reaching the semifinals.
It was a big boost for the fledgling career of the 2009 Australian Open boys doubles champion who was joining the pros headlong after finishing a communications degree at Pepperdine University for which he played for in the United States NCAA.
“I told Johnny why only now [that we played together],” said Alcantara. “It was big thing that we know each other very well [through the years of playing for the national team]. We know where to place the ball and we know where we are inside the court.”
They also speak the same dialect with Alcantara hailing from Cagayan de Oro and Arcilla from Butuan.
“Another thing is that we didn’t put pressure in ourselves,” added Alcantara. The Filipinos also toppled Soichiro Moritani and Masato Shiga (6-1,
6-3) in the semifinals.