Cebuana Lhuillier Men’s Open: Game on!

Like Mike Limpag, I’m excited about this week. It’s the 5th edition of the Cebuana Lhuillier Men’s Open at the aptly-tennis-named Baseline courts.

Johnny Arcilla will be the man expected to win. But he’ll face plenty of local competition—including from Cebu players led by Jacob Lagman and RJ Abarquez.

The main draw starts today. Hopefully! Why? Because last night, I received a phone call from tournament organizer April Toledo. The top 16 players were scheduled to leave Manila at 10 A.M. yesterday. When April called me at 6 P.M., the wearied players were still in the airport!

“Can you help me contact someone from Cebu Pacific?” asked April. I called one of the airline’s senior officials, Agnes Gupalor, and, hopefully, the Top 16 arrived last night. You’ll find out today when you visit Baseline.

I’m most eager to watch a 15-year-old. His name is Jurence Mendoza. In the recent Mitsubishi Lancer junior event, he reached the finals. No easy feat because that tournament is one of Asia’s most prestigious. Also, in last year’s PCA Open, he defeated PJ Tierro to reach the finals (losing to Arcilla).

Last year, Jurence and Jacob Lagman were together here during the Davis Cup. The teenagers will be our future Cecil Mamiits.

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