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De Guzman, Zoleta clinch doubles title

Bambi Zoleta and Akiko De Guzman survived a tight first set contest and beat Khryzelle Sampaton and Rachelle De Guzman, 7-6 (4), 6-1, to win the ladies’ doubles title in the 36th Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open yesterday at the PCA indoor shell-clay courts in Paco, Manila.

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“It’s my first title since winning the ladies’ singles crown nine years ago. Medyo hindi maganda yung chemistry namin sa early rounds buti na lang nag-click talaga kami sa very important match (finals) namin,” said Zoleta, 25, who now works as a receptionist at Shangri-La Bonifacio Global City.

Her partnership with De Guzman came by accident. De Guzman said she wanted to concentrate on the singles but after Zoleta’s partner backed out for personal reasons, one thing led to another.

“Gusto ko lang sana talagang mag-concentrate sa singles then someone approached me to play with her (Zoleta) and I grabbed it. I’m happy playing with her and winning this title,” said De Guzman, who was a member of the College of Saint Benilde team that won the NCAA championships in 2015 and 2016. She is now a member of the De La Salle University squad.

Zoleta and De Guzman earned P20,000 while Sampaton and the other De Guzman won P10,000 in the tournament supported by The Philippine Star, Asiatraders Dunlop, Stronghold Insurance, Whirlpool/Fujidenzo, Head, United Auctioneers, Pearl Garden Hotel, Babolat, Tyrecorp Inc., PVL Restaurant, Greenfield Marketers One, Mary Grace Foods Inc., Coca-Cola Philippines-FEMSA, Kraut Art Glass, Manuel Misa and Atty. Antonio Cablitas.

Zoleta and De Guzman made the finals by ousting Jenni Dizon and Jed Aquino, 6-3, 6-4, while Sampaton and De Guzman shocked top seeds Marian Jade Capadocia and Jella Capadocia, 1-6, 6-1, 10-6, in the semifinals.

The women’s and men’s singles finals are set today, with four-time champion Marian Jade and reigning titlist Clarice Patrimonio clashing at 10 a.m. and defending champion Patrick John Tierro and ITF juniors campaigner John Bryan Otico squaring off at noon.