JOHNNY Arcilla asserted his mastery of Charles Kinaadman, hacking out a 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 decision in the semifinals to earn a crack at a third straight crown in the Naga Open National Tennis Championships at the City of Naga tennis courts in Cebu on Tuesday.
The veteran campaigner, who foiled Kinaadman in the finals to clinch the Brookside Open and Zentro Open crowns in Cainta and Pampanga, respectively, faces a new challenger in wild card Jan Godfrey Seno, who ripped Eric Tangub, 6-3, 6-1, in a duel of unranked bets in the lower half of the 32-player draw of the Group A tournament presented by Dunlop.
Arcilla and Seno dispute the championship at 1 p.m. on Wednesday.
On his way to the finals, the 23-year-old Seno, a product of St. Francis Brooklyn, toppled a couple of seeded rivals after disposing of qualifier Juan Pablo Gonzaga, 6-1, 6-0, in the first round. He routed No. 8 Stephen Gjuia, 6-1, 6-0, then stunned fourth-ranked Eric Jed Olivarez, 6-3, 6-3, in the quarters of the event put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro and serving as part of the Dagitab Festival celebrations.
Tangub, on the other hand, clipped No. 6 Norman Enriquez, 6-2, 6-2, in the first round, survived Jeremiah Tomacruz, 4-6, 6-1, 11-9, before upending second seed and Buglasan Open winner Jose Maria Pague, 6-2, 3-6. 10-8.
But the Zamboanga bet succumbed to Seno’s superb all-around game after trading breaks in the opening set, yielding the third and ninth games and the second and sixth in the next frame.
Arcilla, a 10-time PCA Open champion who also won the Puerto Princesa Open last October and the Pintaflores Festival Open last month, remained hungry for a crown, dropping just eight games in beating wild card Juvels Velos, 6-1, 6-1; top qualifier Noel Salupado, 6-2, 6-3; and Israel Abarquez, Jr., 6-1 6-0.
With partner Vicente Anasta, Arcilla also poised himself for another twinkill as they trounced Elvin Geluz and Tomacruz, 6-3, 6-3, to reach the semis of the men’s doubles in the tournament backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and UTR (Universal Tennis Rating).
Arcilla will also face Seno as the latter teamed up with Abarquez to advance with a 6-4, 6-2, victory over Rodolfo Barquin and Joseph Singson, while Kinaadman and Olivarez repulsed Jeric Accion and John Mari Altiche, for a Final Four clash with Bryan Saarenas and Kristian Tesorio, who shocked the second seeded pair of Pague and Nilo Ledama, 6-3, 5-7, 11-9.