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Velez, Pague, Tria rule Olivarez Cup

Patricia Velez pulled off a pair of victories in varying fashions to dominate the girls’ category while Jose Maria Pague and Nio Tria ruled their respective sides in the boys’ division of the Olivarez Cup 2016 presented by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat yesterday.

Velez survived Melanie Dizon, 7-6(5), 2-6, 6-2, in the semis before subduing Miles Vitaliano, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1, in the finals to snare the 16-and-under crown then the ace Davaoeño cruised to the 18-U championship with a 6-3, 6-2 romp over Bettina Bautista.

Pague eked out a tough 5-7, 6-2, 7-5 escape over Godfrey Seno in the semis then took the 18-U title without swinging his racket as Janus Ringia withdrew due to injury. The Zamboanga Sibugay find also gained a crack at the 16-U title against Manuel Balce III with the duo disputing the crown on Saturday.

Pague and Velez also went on to bag the MVP plums in their respective sides for their superb performances in the ranking junior tournament sponsored by Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez along with Rep. Eric Olivarez and Dr. Pablo Olivarez as part of the family’s long-time commitment to develop the sport and at the same time help in the country’s talent-search sanctioned by Philta.

Nia, playing out of Ateneo, repulsed John David Velez, 6-2, 5-7, 6-2, in the semis then fended off Elvin Geluz, 7-6(2), 6-2, to capture the 14-U crown, while the second seed Velez turned back No. 1 Marc Andre Jarata, 6-0, 6-4, to claim the 12-U title in the event, which served as the kickoff of a three-week tennis festival that also features the centerpiece Open Championship and the team and inter-school competitions.