Johnny Arcilla and Jose Maria Pague fashioned out a pair of lopsided victories to lead the charge of the big guns in the early going of the Zentro Open National Open Championships at the Zentro Tennis and Recreational courts in Apalit, Pampanga last Thursday.
The top-seeded Arcilla, chasing a follow-up to his victory in last week’s Brookside Open and fourth win in the season about to end, trampled young John Sonsona, 6-1, 6-0, after drawing a bye to move into the third round of the Group A tournament against Joseph Tiamzon, who crushed Calvin Canlas, 6-2, 6-2.
The 10-time PCA Open champion Arcilla, who also lorded it over the field in Puerto Princesa and in Pintaflores Festival, is also shooting for a second straight doubles crown, this time with Nilo Ledama after teaming up with Ronard Joven last week.
The No. 2 Pague, on the other hand, overpowered junior campaigner Marc Jarata, 6-1, 6-1, for a third round clash with Jeric Accion, who bundled out Christian Llavore, 6-3, 6-2, in the lower half of the 64-player draw of the event serving as part of the PPS-PEPP circuit put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Third ranked Vicente Anasta and No. 4 Charles Kinaadman likewise eased past Hans Asistio, 6-1, 6-3, and Mateo Rivas, 6-1, 6-1, respectively, while fifth seed Eric Jed Olivarez also served notice of his title bid by blasting Marco Macalintal, 6-0, 6-1, in the week-long tournament sponsored by Newtech Mega Transport Solutions, Hacienda Galea, People’s General Insurance, Corp., Subic Truckboy International and Dingalan Fireworks.
Anasta will next face Raymund Diaz, who held off Thomas Bernardo, 6-4, 6-2; Kinaadman, winner of the Gov. Jubahib Cup in Davao del Norte, tangles with unranked Exequiel Jucutan, who posted one of the day’s three reversals by upending No. 11 Elvin Geluz, 6-2, 6-1.
Neil Tangalin also stunned No. 6 John Tomacruz in a thrilling duel, 7-5, 6-7(2), 10-6, to arrange a third round face-off with No. 12 Alberto Villamor, who whipped Rollie Anasta, 6-1, 6-2, while seventh-ranked Noel Damian Jr. blasted Diego Dayrit, 6-2, 6-0, for a clash with Alexis Acabo, who surprised No. 10 Kristian Tesorio, 6-2, 6-2.
Others who advanced in the event, backed by Top 1 Movers Worldwide, IBX Cargo Corp., Cinco Enterprises, Inc., Gotobox Express Malolos and Amarab Int’l Travel and Tours, were Nilo Ledama and John Altiche, who ripped Noel Salupado, 6-1, 6-0, and Austin delos Santos, 6-3, 6-2, respectively.
Meanwhile, the City of Naga, Cebu will host the season-ending Dagitab Festival Open, supported by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating). on Dec. 14-21. For details, contact event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 09154046464.