MANILA, Philippines - Top seed Marc Sieber posted his second straight shutout win while veteran Davis Cupper Treat Huey struggled past his rival as they rolled into the Last 16 phase in the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open presented by Cebuana Lhuillier at the Plaza Dilao courts in Paco, Manila yesterday.
Sieber, a Fil-German, walloped Gilbert Estrada, 6-0, 6-0, while the seventh-ranked Huey, a Fil-Am, turned back Jacob Lagman, 6-1, 7-6(4), to remain on collision course for the crown in the event staking a total purse of P600,000 courtesy of Cebuana Lhuillier.
Sieber, being eyed to lead the next Phl Davis Cup team, seeks a quarterfinal berths against the winner of the Alberto Lim, Jr.-and Calvin Canlas duel while Huey, ranked 35th in the world doubles, will take on the victor of the Franklin Encarnacion-Jonard Rover clash.
Sieber and Huey are also among the favorites vying for spots in the Australian Open as KIA, a major Grand Slam event backer, is staking a slot each for the champions in the men’s and women’s sides.
Like Sieber and Huey, defending champion Johnny Arcilla and fellow Davis Cuppers Francis Casey Alcantara and Elbert Anasta also breezed through the next round with similar convincing wins.
Arcilla, owner of a tournament-best six PCA crowns, bucked a right shoulder injury as he booted out Alvee Villamor, 6-4, 6-1, while Alcantara, the former Phl No. 1 junior player and a Top 10 ITF junior netter, eliminated Mark Alcoseba, 6-4, 6-2.
Anasta, also a Davis Cup veteran, blasted Joshua Cano, 6-3, 6-2.
"As we all know, this is probably one of the strongest, if not the strongest, PCA Open editions in years," said the 32-year-old Arcilla, also a many-time Davis Cup and Southeast Asian Games campaigner in Filipino.
Arcilla also made mention of being slowed down by a painful right shoulder injury that sidelined him for months.
"I haven' really prepared well for this tournament because of this shoulder injury," he added.
On the distaff side, Capadocia siblings Marian Jader, Jella Jade and Jade Charito moved into the next round with wins over Monivic Santos, 6-0, 6-1, Andrea Amistad, 7-6(4), 7-5) and Crizzabelle Paulino, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4, respectively.
Also gaining were No. 5 Alyssa Labay, who slammed Sarah Jane Lim, 6-3, 6-4, Jazsh Canja, a 6-0, 6-4 winner over qualifier Anna Biennes, and Lenelyn Milo, who bashed Gladys Dimaculangan, 6-0, 6-4.