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PPS-PEPP: Johnny Arcilla subdues young Jed Olivarez in Lanao

Johnny Arcilla recalled his fierce form coming off a recent setback, as he pounded out a 6-3, 6-1 victory over Jed Olivarez to capture the Lanao del Norte National Open championship at the MCC courts in Tubod last Thursday.

The veteran Davis Cup campaigner and many-time PCA Open champion flashed vintage form, overwhelming Olivarez and breaking his younger rival twice in the opening set. He dominated the next set from the fourth game on to rule the event, also billed as the Gov. Imelda Quibranza-Dimaporo Open, and add another trophy to his cabinet, filled with past victories.

The victory, worth P50,000, came after he bowed out to eventual winner John Bryan Otico in the semis of the Malita Open in Davao Occidental a couple of weeks ago. However, he buckled down and worked on his stamina. He beat John Atay 6-1, 6-1, held off Jude Ceniza 6-0, 5-7, 10-5, and crushed Eric Tangub 6-2, 6-3, before sealing a championship clash with Olivarez.

The 43-year-old Arcilla, who racked up five Open crowns last year while defeating younger, stronger rivals, took control of the finals match after scoring a break in the fifth game. He held serve twice before breaking Olivarez again in the ninth.

He broke Olivarez once again in the fourth game of the second set and swept the next three games to secure another top podium finish. This victory follows his claim of the Escudero Cup crown in San Pablo City last February.

With Nilo Ledama, Arcilla completed a double victory as they toppled Olivarez and Vicente Anasta 6-2, 6-4, in the men’s doubles finals of the 10-day event. The tournament was held in conjunction with Lanao del Norte’s 64th founding anniversary and was part of the PPS-PEPP circuit, the country’s longest talent search put up by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

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Sharing top honors in men’s doubles were Noel Salupado and Arvin Secuya (Legends 30s), Ome Buhat and Marlon Alforo (Legends 40s), Efren Veradio and Bing delos Santos (Legends 50s), and Roy Bautete and Camilo Lascite (Legends 60s).

Meanwhile, the action shifts to Marawi City, beginning on Saturday with the staging of the 64th Lanao del Sur National Open at the MSU courts. For details and registration, please contact tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

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