FILIPINO wildcards Francis Casey Alcantara and Johnny Arcilla dragged Japanese Issei Okamura and Kento Takeuchi to the distance, but yielded a 7-6 (2), 7-5 decision Saturday in the men’s doubles semifinals of the PSC-Philta International Men’s Futures Open at Valle Verde Country Club shell courts in Pasig City.
Playing for the first time as partners in an ITF event, the local bets forced a tiebreak in the opening set after holding fort and exchanging service breaks. But the effort took its toll as the Japanese dominate the tiebreak.
Overall, it was still an impressive showing by the Filipinos in the meet organized by the Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Tennis Association, Pioneer Insurance, Babolat, Asian Tennis Federation, and Philta president Mayor Edwin Olivarez.
They are assured of world rankings points in doubles as well as in singles where they both won a match each.
Alcantara, the 2009 Australian Open boys doubles champion, was making his first ITF circuit event after graduating from Pepperdine University.
Takeuchi and Okamura will face for the title top seeds Harry Bourchier of Australia and Enrique Lopez-Perez of Spain, who made the finals following a 1-6, 6-2 (10-6) victory over third seeds Kunai Anand and Vinayak Kaza of India, in the other semis last Friday.
Earlier in the day, Takeuchi and Ochi Makoto made it an all-Japan singles finals in the tourney supported by Palm Rock Hotel, Sweet Valley, TCU Aircon sales and services, Globe, Beginnings Baby Products, The Henry Hotel, ROCD Roofworks, IPTL, and Plantation Bay Spa and Resort.
Takeuchi stunned Spaniard No. 1 pick Lopez-Perez, 2-6, 6-1, 6-4, while Makoto joined him in the finals after fashioning out similar shocker over second seed Bourchier, 6-2, 6-1.