Arcilla smothers Lazaro, captures Fr. Suarez crown

Published May 21, 2022, 2:35 PM

by Manila Bulletin Sports

Ageless Johnny Arcilla kept racking up titles over younger rivals, bagging the Fr. Fernando Suarez M-Cup Open Championship crown with a 6-2, 6-1 romp over Leander Lazaro at the Malabon Tennis Club’s shell court in Malabon City last Friday.

The veteran Davis Cupper flashed vintage form in toppling Mimo Tomacruz, 6-0, 7-6(1) and Alberto Villamor, 6-2, 6-2, before crushing Fritz Verdad, 6-2, 6-1, in the semifinals of the five-day tournament held in honor of the late healing priest and tennis buff and supporter.

Ranged against the 29-year-old Lazaro, Arcilla broke in the third game, yielded the next at serve but bounced back strong with a sweep of the next four.

It was more of the same in the second frame as the 42-year-old nine-time PCA (Philippine Columbian Association) Open champion broke Lazaro in the third game and won the next four to complete his dominant title run in the event presented by Dunlop.

The third-ranked Lazaro looked poised to surprising Arcilla after upending second seed Vicente Anasta, 6-4, 3-6, 10-6, in the semis but had no answer to the top-seeded bet’s power, ground strokes and court savvy.

Arcilla pocketed the top P30,000 and added another P20,000 after teaming up with Villamor to blast Verdad and Lance Fernandez, 6-0, 6-0, in the men’s doubles finals of the event that missed the presence of three-time champion Jeson Patrombon and other 31st SEA Games campaigners.

Lazaro took the P15,000 second prize in singles while doubles runners-up Verdad and Fernandez received P10,000 in the second Open tournament in the busy Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala calendar after the Olivarez Cup last March.

Meanwhile, action in the Mindanao swing of the PPS-PEPP junior circuit resumes in Cotabato next week for the Kabacan leg on May 24-27 to be followed by the Kidapawan City stage on May 28-31 and the Pigcawayan tournament on June 1-5.

 
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