Johnny Arcilla and Jose Maria Pague trampled their respective rivals to stay on a title collision course but Charles Kinaadman and Vicente Anasta likewise fashioned out convincing victories to reach the semifinals of the Escudero Cup National Tennis Open Championship in San Pablo City on Wednesday.
The top-seeded Arcilla trounced Chat Conta, 6-4, 6-2, then smothered John Tomacruz, 6-2, 6-1, to set up a Final Four duel with No. 4 Anasta, who routed Jeson Blando, 6-1, 6-2, in the first round then posted a pair of 6-3, 6-0 romps over Hans Asistio and Lance Fernandez to get a crack at the finals of the Group A tournament marking return of the Don Arsenio Escudero Sr. Cup after a long absence on the PPS-PEPP calendar.
The No. 2 Pague, on the other hand, held off Marco Macalintal, 6-4, 6-2, then ripped Alexis Acabo, 6-2, 6-1, to seal a tough semis duel with No. 3 Kinaadman, who dispatched Jay Papa, 6-1, 6-4, ripped Bryan Saarenas, 6-2, 6-0, and thwarted John Mari Altiche, 6-4, 6-4, at the Aera Tennis Club.
That sealed an interesting showdown for the final berths with Anasta and Kinaadman both going all out for reversals in the week-long event organized by Aera Tennis Club, headed by president Raul de Vera and held in partnership with PPS-PEPP, led by president/CEO Bobby Castro, and the Escudero family.
Pague and Anasta, meanwhile, got past Blando and Saxon Omandac. 6-3, 6-0, to likewise advance to the semis of the men’s doubles against Rollie Anasta and Noel Salupado, who upended Kinaadman and Fernandez, 7-6(1), 7-6(4), in the event backed by Rep. Loreto Amante, Converge, Mitsubishi Motors, Dunlop and Slazenger, which also serves as part of the UTP (United Tennis Philippines) and UTR (Universal Tennis Ranking).
Arcilla and Saarenas disposed of Acabo and Macalintal, 6-2, 6-2, to get a crack at the finals against Edmar Adormeo and Papa, who stunned John Accion and Altiche, 7-6(5), 6-3.
Meanwhile, the juniors take center stage beginning tomorrow (Friday) with the Escudero Cup titles up for grabs in five age-group categories, including the premier 18-U division headed by Vince Serna and Ivan Manila (boys) and Chloe Mercado and Jana Diaz (girls).