JANELLA Rose Prulla was the youngest to make the finals of the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) Open when she made it that far in its last staging three years ago.
Now she hopes to win it this year against the same person who beat and denied her the title in 2019 — seven-time winner Marian Jade Capadocia.
Using this as motivation, the 17-year-old San Jose del Monte, Bulacan native downed doubles partner Makeliah Nepomuceno, 6-3, 6-4, yesterday that set her out on a possible collision course with a familiar foe in the 39th edition of the event at the PCA’s Plaza Dilao court in Paco, Manila.
While a potential title rematch with the decorated 27-year-old Ms. Capadocia is not yet cast in stone, Ms. Prulla is preparing herself with that possibility as she came in this edition with a stronger body and armed with more experience.
“The last time she (Ms. Capadocia) beat me, I was only 14 years old and lean and didn’t have much muscle,” said Ms. Prulla, who made her debut in last May’s Hanoi Southeast Asian Games where she made it as far as the quarterfinals.
“But I’m stronger now and I have an idea of what to expect,” she added.
Before the Capadocia-Prulla championship sequel could happen, Ms. Prulla must first hurdle the winner between Miles Vitaliano and qualifier Alexa Santos, who were playing at press time.
Ms. Capadocia, for her part, must overcome Kayle Emana in their quarterfinal duel, and AJ Milliam, a 6-4, 2-6, 6-3 winner over Justine Hannah Maneja, in the semis set today too.
“Of course, I have to win in the semis and seeing them (Mmess. Santos and Vitaliano) play, I expect it to be tough,” said Ms. Prulla in this tournament bankrolled by Smart/PLDT, official ball Dunlop, Manila councilor Jong Isip, San Jose Salt, W. L. Food Products, Palawan Pawnshop and Pagcor.
The day before, Mmess. Prulla and Nepomuceno trounced Miles Vitaliano and Maria Patricia Lim, 6-0, 6-3, to likewise make the semis of the women’s doubles in this meet backed by GAC Motors, GIMACA Convenience Store and Development Corp., Ourzen Chicken, HEAD, Ms. Rina Caniza, Mr. Benito Tan, Primo Dept. Fuel Station, Kaizan Steel Trading, Cazneau, Inc. and Knaut Art Glass.
They will clash with Shaira Hope Rivera and Alyssa Bornia, a 6-0, 6-1 winner over Joanne Tan and Princess Debie Gom-os. — Joey Villar