By Jean Malanum

SHOUT FOR JOY. Second seed Alberto Lim Jr. celebrates after beating Hawaii-based Filipino Andre Ilagan, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, in the men’s singles final of the 40th Philippine Columbian Association Open in Paco, Manila on Sunday (Dec. 3, 2023). Lim pocketed PHP300,000 in cash. (PNA photo by Avito C. Dalan)

MANILA – Second seed Alberto Lim Jr. stamped his class over Hawaii-based Filipino Andre Ilagan to capture the men’s singles title in the 40th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open at its indoor shell court in Paco, Manila on Sunday.

Returning from a two-year hiatus, Lim displayed astounding form to prevail over Ilagan, 6-2, 6-3, 6-4, after two hours and 20 minutes.

“I thank God for this victory,” the 24-year-old former Philippine Davis Cup team member said.

“Thanks to my dad (Alberto Sr.). Without him, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” Lim added, while also acknowledging his team (coach Ronald Ramos and Fernandez siblings Loucas and Lance), sponsors and supporters.

Ilagan held serve at 4-5 in the third set but Lim won the next game en route to victory and the PHP300,000 champion’s purse.

“I give credit to him (Lim). He’s a great player,” said the 23-year-old Ilagan, who was born in Hawaii to Filipino parents from General Santos City.

He played two US$15,000 ITF events in November before coming to Manila, winning in Hua Hin, Thailand and finishing runner-up in Kuching, Malaysia.

Meanwhile, top seed Marian Capadocia pulled off a 6-0, 6-1 win over unseeded Theniel Madis in the women’s singles final.

“I’m happy to win again,” Capadocia said of her eighth title.

She bagged PHP150,000.

Top seeds Ilagan and Bryan Saarenas also outplayed veterans Ronard Joven and Johnny Arcilla, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 10-8, to capture the men’s doubles title.

National player Shaira Hope Rivera secured two titles on Saturday — teaming up with National University team captain Allyssa Mae Bornia to defend the women’s doubles title over Rovie Baulate and Elsie Abarquez, 6-4, 6-3, and partnering with Philippine Army sergeant Elbert Anasta to beat Bornia and Joven, 7-5, 6-2, in the mixed doubles final. (PNA)