Grit-and-grind help Patrombon, Capadocia to win PCA Open singles titles

By: Kristoffer Ed Bellen

MANILA—Jeson Patrombon and Marian Jade Capadocia ground out their own gritty championship matches to win the men's and women's singles titles of the 2018 PCA Open, respectively, at the PCA Courts, at Plaza Dilao in Paco, on Sunday.

Sixth seed Patrombon dethroned defending champion John Bryan Otico in the hardest way possible after edging the top-seed in five thrilling sets, 7-6, 0-6, 4-6, 6-1, 6-1.

Patrombon was drawn at the blockbuster bottom half of the draw and inside eight-time PCA Open singles champion Johnny Arcilla's quarter but managed to sneak into an uncharacteristic semifinals against Niño Alcantara to eventually claim his maiden PCA Open championship.

"Yung draw ko, hindi madali. So 'yun pa lang nalagpasan ko si Johnny 'tsaka si Niño, doon na po ako nagkaroon ng kumpyansa, medyo relaxed na 'yung feeling ko sa paglalaro.

"Ngayon, ang na-fe-feel ko talaga, masayang masaya. Hindi talaga ako kumpyansa rito sa PCA Open kasi nagka-baby ako last October. Wala akong inaasahang magandang result dito, basta ako laro lang ako, walang pressure," Patrombon told after the match.

On the other hand, Capadocia managed to successfully defend her PCA Open title after easily dismantling Shaira Rivera in two straight sets, 6-4, 6-3.

The Arellano University star, who admittedly contemplated about not joining the 2018 PCA Open due to the new NCAA eligibility rules, did not drop any single set over the course of the whole tournament en route to a record-setting six PCA Open titles.

"Every time na nag-cha-champion ako, 'di nag-si-sink in sa akin na champion ako kasi gusto ko lang ilaro kung ano 'yung laro ko and gusto kong ipakita sa lahat kung ano 'yung totoong laro ko 'pag tournaments," Capadocia said.

"Actually, binalik-balik ko lang 'yung bola hanggang sa ma-cope-up ko lang kung ano 'yung palo niya, then 'yun," the 23-year old also added.

Meanwhile, a tale of two surprising runs highlighted the doubles championships as top-seed Alcantara and Nio Tria lifted the men's doubles title while fourth-seed Bambie Zoleta and Aileen Rogan hoisted the trophy over at the women's side.

Alcantara and Tria stunned the three-peat-seeking duo of Arcilla and Ronard Joven, 7-6(4), 5-7, 10-8, before Zoleta and Rogan had their own upset victory over top-seed sisters Cristine and Clarice Patrimonio, 2-6, 6-4, 10-8.

The 2018 PCA Open is the 37th edition of the annual tournament hosted and organized by the Philippine Tennis Association which kicked off last November 16 and featured some of the country's top tennis players.

Follow him on Twitter: @KristoffBellen