Tierro thwarts Arcilla, bags Palawan Tunafest crown



PJ Tierro toughened up in the decider and defanged Johnny Arcilla, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5, to capture the men’s Open singles crown in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Tuna Festival 2014 at the Gen. Santos City courts in Gen. Santos City Sunday.

The top seeded Tierro leaned on his solid serves and near-flawless ground strokes to neutralize Arcilla in the tightly-fought third set then came away with backhand drive winners to clinch the victory worth P40,000 in two hours and 10 minutes.

Tierro, who retired due to cramps in losing the Olivarez Cup crown to Arcilla last year, banked on his forehand winners to break Arcilla once and take the opening set. But Arcilla, who beat Vicenta Anasta last week to complete a three-peat in the Olivarez Cup, dominated the second to force a decider.

Tierro, however, recovered his bearing and rhythm in time, keeping his rival on the defensive with his solid groundstrokes and winners to hack out the victory, capping the week-long tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Padala and hosted by Gen. Santos City with Technifibre as official ball.

“Tierro and Arcilla, along with other national team and pool mainstays, always inspire our young players to strive for excellence. And we thank Palawan Pawnshop for putting up this tournament which surely encouraged them to dish out their best in their side of the tennis festival,” said Philta president and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.

Arcilla, who pocketed P20,000, foiled Tierro’s bid for a twinkill as he teamed up with Ronard Joven to beat Tierro and Rolando Ruel, 6-4, 6-4, and pocket the doubles title in the event which also featured the country’s leading and rising junior players and held as part of Gen. Santos City’s Tuna Festival celebration.

“Palawan Pawnshop and Technifibre have been in the forefront of tennis development for years and we will continue putting up top-level tournaments to inspire our young players to achieve a higher level of play,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.

Shaira Hope Riviera completed a golden double by topping the girls’ 16- and 18-and-Under sections with Carlyn Bless Guarde and Ma. Angelica Novis snaring the 14- and 12-and-under plums, respectively.

Rivera, a Davao City find, scored a 6-2, 2-6, (ret.) win over Sharyl delos Santos to clinch the 16-and-U crown then overpowered Patricia Velez, 6-1, 6-2, to annex the premier 18-and-U championship, while Guarde outsteadied Velez, 7-5, 7-6(7), to snatch the 14-and-U plum and Novis dominated April Bentillo, 6-3, 6-1, in the 12-and-U final.

Jeric de los Santos subdued Brylle Chatto, 6-3, 6-3, to cop the boys’ 18-and-U title while top seed Abson John Alejandre took the 16-and-U plum with a 6-1, 6-3 romp over Stephen Tubbs.

Ranked as top seed, Tubbs clipped Klyde Lagarde, 6-1, 6-4, to bag the 14-and-U diadem, while No. 1 Mark Alfred Directo routed John David Velez, 6-2, 6-2, to win the 12-and-under title.

Bentillo atoned for her failed bid in the girls’ 12-and-under final, edging John Velez, 6-3, 4-6, 7-6(9), to clinch the 10-unisex crown.

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