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Young guns brace for Olivarez Cup

The country’s leading and upcoming junior players gear up for a fierce duel not only for titles but also for ranking points in the PPS-PEPP Olivarez Open regional age group 2017 which gets going tomorrow at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque.

Close to 300 age-groupers, led by winners in the ongoing Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala circuit, will dispute the eight division titles staked in the Group 1 tournament put up by the Olivarez family as part of its long-time commitment to develop the sport and help in the country’s talent-search.

Cagayan de Oro’s Ma. Aubrey Calma, Nicole Ann Bautista from Malita, Davao, Cavite’s Denise Bernardo and Davao’s Patricia Velez banner the girls’ 18-and-under division with Ramon Bentillo from Sultan Kudarat, Davao’s Lordrenz Pacheco, Cavite’s Laurenz Quitara and Makati’s Athan Arejola leading the boys’ cast in the premier side of the week-long tournament backed by Palawan Pawnshop and presented by Slazenger.

“This is going to be exciting with all the winners in the PPS-PEPP legs raring to prove their worth against each other,” said Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez, who helped put up the event along with Rep. Eric Olivarez and Dr. Pablo Olivarez.

The top three placers in all age-group categories will also gain ranking points for a chance to compete abroad and free training under the program of the Unified Tennis Group, composed of Cebuana Lhuillier, PPS-PEPP, Wilson, Toby’s, BMeg, Citigreen, Babolat, Tru-Flez and all regional allies from Regions 1-18.

“It is our desire to help develop the sport and produce world-class players because we believe Filipino netters can be at par with the world’s best given the exposure and motivation,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/COO Bobby Castro.
To accommodate the big number of entries, a series of qualifiers will also be held in the boys’ 14-, 16- and 18-U divisions, according to tournament organizer Bobby Mangunay. For details, call 0915-4046464.

The Olivarez Cup Open will cap the two-week long tennis festival with the country’s aces, led by defending champions Johnny Arcilla and Khim Iglupas, slugging it out for top honors in the event set Aug. 11-16.

Other players to watch this week are Cebu’s Connor Cuizon, Mlang, Cotabato’s Tennielle Madis, Alexi Jarata from La Union, and Cavite Kean Enriquez (10-unisex), Andre Jarata, Sam Nuguit from Las Piñas, Mlang’s Cedric Pamplona, Kabacan, Cotabato’s Reyman Saldivar, and Tiffany Nocos and Khyberly McKenzie from Cebu (12-U)