Arcilla Gives PH Early Lead

Manila Bulletin
February 2, 2013
Sports, pp. 18

LAPU LAPU CITY - Johnny Arcilla opened Cebuana-Lhuillier team’s Davis Cup bid in devastating style, hacking out a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 victory over Syria’s Issam Haitham Taweel in the first singles match of their Oceania Zone Group II tie last night at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa claycourt here.

Arcilla, nominated as the PH team’s No. 2 player despite lacking of international ranking, showed his liking of the claycourt surface as he dominated Syria’s No. 1 player.

Winner of the PCA Open six times – the most by a Filipino player in the claycourt surface – Arcilla mixed his shots well to bounce back from a second meltdown and gave the PH side an early 1-0 lead in their best-of-five affair.

Arcilla was superb in the first set but his momentum was cut short because of the rain that lasted about 20 minutes.

When both netters came back, the 6-foot-1 Taweel imposed his will, coming through big winners that caught Arcilla flat-footed most of time. That enabled the Syrian to rally from a 4-1 deficit.

Arcilla, however, regained his form in the third which he won with nary a trouble as Taweek showed signs of disintegrating.

The Syrian finally fell apart in the fourth frame as Arcilla applied more pressure with his daring net game.

Ruben Gonzales, nominated as No.1 player, was playing against Syria’s No. 2 Marc Abdelnour in the second singles match at presstime with the Fil-Am netter hoping to complete what Arcilla started.

It was Arcilla’s fifth straight singled win and 17th overall in 29 matches since playing for the squad in 200. The win, likewise, snapped Taweel’s five-game winning run.

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