MULTI-TITLED Johnny Arcilla hits the hard courts again down South, aiming not just for another Open championship but also the top purse of P80,000 in the men’s singles of the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala (PPS-PEPP) Mayor Bradly Bautista Tennis Championships, which got under way Thursday at the Malita Tennis Club in Davao Occidental.
The top seeded Arcilla, 43, and the other ranking bets, including No. 2 Jose Maria Pague, Joshua Kinaadman, Vicente Anasta, Eric Jed Olivarez, Nilo Ledama, Ronard Joven, John Mari Altiche, Jeleardo Amazona and Eric Tangub, took opening round byes but all are slated to kick off their respective campaigns in second round play set Thursday afternoon.
Tennielle Madis and Nicole dela Rita, on the other hand, banner the women’s singles cast that also includes AJ Acabo, Danna Abad, Elizabeth Abarquez, Rose Bacaron, Rovie Baulete and Nicole Bautista also tipped to contend for the crown worth P30,000.
The P664,000 tournament, dubbed as the MBLTL for Mayor Bradly Bautista Lawn Tennis League Season 2, also features the men’s and women’s doubles, mixed doubles and the juniors category. The 10-day tournament, put up in coordination with Davao Occidental Governor and tennis buff Franklin Bautista, is the biggest event staged in Davao region in terms of prize money and participation.
It is also held to inspire the host city’s youngsters to get into sports and held in conjunction with its Paugnat Festival celebrations.
Arcilla’s thirst for victory has never waned through the years. Multiple winner of the Philippine Columbian Association Open, the veteran Davis Cup and Butuan City pride has dominated the country’s premier circuit put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro, winning five Open diadems last year while trouncing younger, stronger rivals.
He overwhelmed Pague in the Escudero Cup in San Pablo City last February.
Meanwhile, the juniors take center stage on Saturday (June 10) with Vince Serna and Thomas Gabuat gaining the top two rankings in the boys’ singles although focus will be on the streaking Brice Baisa, the hottest player in the ranks today with six straight victories in both the 16- and 18-U plays in Iloilo, Roxas City, Bacolod, Imus, Cainta, Rizal and Apalit, Pampanga legs of the circuit this year.
Acabo and Sanschena Francisco, on the other hand, are the top two seeds in girls’ play of the tournament, backed by ProtekTODO, PalawanPay, the Unified Tennis Philippines and Universal Tennis Rating, that includes Juliana Carvajal and Chelsea Bernaldez.
For details, contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.