Arcilla beats Anasta in injury-shortened finals

By Dale G. Rosal
Cebu Daily News

In a dream final brimming with drama, Johnny Arcilla reaffirmed his status as the country’s best tennis player by outlasting chief rival and second seed Vicente Anasta in an injury-shortened championship match, 6-4, 4-6, 4-3 of the Cebuana Lhuillier Tennis Circuit at the Baseline Recreation Center tennis courts.

Arcilla and Anasta fought on even terms in the first two sets, with the former winning the opening set and the latter claiming the second to send the final to a third and deciding set.

Arcilla’s bid for a fourth Cebuana crown appeared in danger in the third set when he suffered cramps and fell behind, 2-3.

However, in a bizarre turn of events, Anasta was also slowed down by cramps which worsened as the match progressed. Arcilla took advantage of this as he broke Anasta back to level the match at 3-all then held serve for a 4-3 lead.

At this stage, Anasta’s cramps proved too much to handle as he collapsed on the clay court prompting his fellow players and Arcilla to rush to his rescue.

“This is definitely one of the most difficult games I’ve played. I was just lucky to pull this one off,” Arcilla said in a post-match interview. He also praised Anasta, his teammate in the RP Davis Cup Team, for giving his all despite the painful cramps.

The win pushed Arcilla’s head-to-head advantage over Anasta to 5-1.

“I was very desperate in the third set when he broke my serve. But I persevered until his body gave way to his cramps,” Arcilla said. “Maybe I am just very blessed because my newly-built house was recently blessed and I also help my parents a lot,” added a visibly elated Arcilla.

Meanwhile, it was a double whammy for Anasta after organizers advised him to rest and forego his doubles finals match with partner and fifth seed Ronard Joven against the tandem of Arcilla and fourth seed Patrick John Tierro.

Anasta breezed through the singles finals after beating Amiel Aya-ay in the first round, Mark Alcoseba in the second, eighth seed Kim Ivor Saraza in the quarterfinals and Tierro in the semifinals.

Arcilla on the other hand, won over Roderick Lazaro in the first round, Lazaro’s brother Leander in the second, sixth seed Jurenz Mendoza in the quarterfinals and the last of the Lazaro siblings, Alexander in the semifinals.

Arcilla received P40,000 for his win while Anasta settled for the P20,000 runner-up purse.


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