FORMER Australian Open juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and fourth seed Alberto Lim Jr. made their presence felt with impressive blowout wins to advance in the third round of the 34th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open-Cebuana Lhuillier Wildcard Event at the PCA Open clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Alcantara, the pride of Cagayan De Oro, overcame a slow start before blasting Carlo Nono, 8-2, while the 16-year-old Lim was unforgivable right from the get-go as he scored an 8-0 shutout of Rodolfo Barquin in the event supported by Cebuana Lhuillier, Puma, Dunlop, The Philippine Star, Head, Babolat, Compass/IMOSTI, and Sarangani Rep. Manny Pacquiao.
“Maganda naman ang start ko, kinakapa ko pa ‘yung court pero so far, okay naman. Worst surface ko ito [clay court]. Hopefully, mas gumanda pa ang laro ko as the tournament goes on. Hindi pwedeng kumpiyansa sa laro ngayon dahil maraming malalakas na kasali. One game at a time,” said the 23-year-old Alcantara, fresh from his recent win in the Olivarez Cup.
Alcantara will next face Joel Atienza, who prevailed over Santino Vista, 8-0.
Lim, on the other hand, will duel Jimmy Tangalin, an easy 8-3 winner over Michael Madrio.
Last year’s runner-up Johnny Arcilla, third seed Elbert Anasta, No. 6 Marc Anthony Alcoseba, and No. 8 Ronard Joven breezed to the next round of the tournament supported by Whilpool/Fujidenzo, Broadway Motor Sales Corp. Coca-Cola Fesma Philippines, Tyrecorp Incorporated, Pearl Garden Hotel, Metro Global Holdings Corporation, Avida, PVL Restaurant, Mary Grace Foods, Inc., Seno Hardware, and Wire Rope Corporation.
Arcilla advanced following a walkover win over Chris Prulla, Anasta disposed of Jomari Guira, 8-2, Alcoseba overpowered Harry Caron, 8-4 while Joven clobbered Jose Nicholas Cano, 8-3.
Other second-round winners include Roel Capangpangan, who beat Marraphael Teng, 8-3; Dheo Talatayod stopped Arjohn Dela Cruz, 8-5, Argil Canizares bested Jhun Alcoseba, 8-5, Fritz Verdad destroyed Joaquin Paras, 8-1, Kyle Parpan trounced Renoso Valderama, 8-2, and Leander Lazaro demolished Alester Magalit, 8-0.
Defending champion Patrick John Tierro already secured a place in the third round along with fifth seed Rolando Ruel Jr., ninth pick Marc Reyes, and No. 15 Arcie Mano.
The finalists in the men’s singles will earn automatic berths in the main draw of the upcoming 2015 Manila International Tennis Federation (ITF) Men’s Futures Leg 2 slated on October 2, while the players who make the quarterfinals and semifinals will gain access to the qualifying round.
Only the winners in the doubles division will be given spots in the ITF 16-pair main draw.
A total of P87,000 is up for grabs this year, with the men’s single champ taking the top purse of P20,000, while the runner-up gets P10,000. The ladies singles titlist and runner-up will take home P10,000 and P5,000, respectively.