Vintage Arcilla ousts champ
Johnny Arcilla continued to turn back time on Friday when he dethroned defending champion Jeson Patrombon, 7-6 (6), 7-5, to make the men’s singles finals of the Philippine Columbian Association Open tennis championships.
The 39-year-old Arcilla, the winningest player in the tournament with eight singles titles under his belt, deftly handled the powerful national team mainstay Patrombon with well-placed shots.
“I don’t look at that anymore,” said Arcilla, referring to the roster of champions outside the indoor courts that listed him as champion in 2001, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.
“We have a lot of young guys here who are very good,” added Arcilla, a former national team and Davis Cup standout who is now mentoring for National University.
He will play the winner between youngsters Eric Olivarez Jr. and Jurence Zosimo Mendoza in the other men’s singles semifinals.
Six-time winner Marian Capadocia handily defeated Akiko de Guzman, 6-1, 6-0 to arrange a finals duel against Jennila Rose Prulla, a 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 upset winner over second seed Shaira Hope Rivera.
It was a remarkable comeback for Arcilla who trailed, 5-4, with Patrombon serving for the set in the second frame. Arcilla came through with a key break that allowed him to gain momentum.
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