Arcilla, Joven set up title duel
Veteran Johnny Arcilla and doubles partner Ronard Joven trounced their opponents Friday to arrange a men’s singles title duel in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Pintaflores Festival Open Tennis Championship at San Carlos City Tennis Club in Negros Occidental.
The top-seeded Arcilla asserted his mastery over No. 4 Fritz Verdad, 6-2, 6-4, while Joven downed Leander Lazaro, 6-7 (7-4), 6-1, 6-3, in the semifinals.
The eight-time PCA Open champion and many-time member of the national team controlled the rhythm of the match through his usual slow, baseline game to dominate.
It was a different story for Joven who needed a lot of work against Lazaro as they engaged in a thrilling opening set. Lazaro made the semifinals after a 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-3, upset over second seed Elbert Anasta in the quarterfinals.
The 35-year-old Arcilla and Joven will fight for prestige as well as the P40,000 purse at 3 p.m. today in the meet hosted by Mayor Gerardo Valmayor Jr. with Criston Carmona as organizer.
Meanwhile, Arcilla and Joven take on Mark Gayo and Eduardo Rodriguez Jr. in the quarterfinal round of the men’s doubles. Marc Anthony Reyes