DEFENDING champion Johnny Arcilla and Marian Jane Capadocia eye to extend their reign as champions of the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open when it kicks off its 33rd edition two weeks from now at the PCA indoor shell clay courts in Paco, Manila.
Although action in the juniors division already kicked off Saturday, the main draw won’t be held until Nov. 15, with Arcilla looking to win title no. 9 in the men’s class, while Capadocia aiming to retain her crown in the distaff side.
The 34-year-old Arcilla is expected to be challenged by the likes of no. 1 ranked Patrick John Tierro, Filipino-Italian Marc Anthony Reyes, Alberto Lim Jr., Leander Lazaro, Elbert Anasta, Rolando Ruel Jr., and Jeson Patrombon.
The talented Patrimonio sisters -- Anna Christine and Anna Clarice – meanwhile, are epected to give Capadocia a run for her money along with standouts Khim Iglupas, Edilyn Balanga, and Maika Tanpoco.
PCA chairman Raul Diaz expects a fierce action in this year’s edition of the meet that offers a whopping 00,000 in prize money.
“The stakes are definitely higher this year. I know we say it every year and it’s true every time because the caliber of athletes is getting better and better,” said Diaz.
“Even the more experienced players notice how gritty the newcomers are. There’s a new breed of athletes that are steadily working their way up. That’s the beauty of this sport, there’s always room to grow.”
Meanwhile, the Pro-Am, Inter Club, and Executive team events of the meet supported by Cebuana Pera Padala, Micro Insurance, Phiten, Just Jewels, Cebuana Micro Insurance, Hon. Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Dunlop, Fujidenzo/Whirlpool, Babolat, Head, Accel, Malate Bayview Mansion, Coca-Cola Bottlers Phils. Inc., Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company Inc., Seno Hardware, Standard Insurance, United Auctioneers Inc. Foton, Philippine Sports Commission, TLH Sports & Wellness Center/Solinco, Avida Land Corporation, Stronghold Insurance, Ryobi MHI, and GMA 7, is also slated on Nov. 15.