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W. Michigan ace boosts Olivarez Cup Open cast

Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr. takes time out from his studies at the Western Michigan U as he joins the title hunt in the eighth Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championship which gets going today in Sucat, Parañaque.

A member of the seven-man Broncos tennis squad, Olivarez Jr. gains the No. 13 seeding in the full-packed 64-player field headed by the country’s top players, including perennial champion Johnny Arcilla and fellow Davis Cup veteran PJ Tierro, No. 3 Jason Patrombon, Vicente Anasta and Leander Lazaro.

A two-time MAC doubles player awardee who finished 21-9 in singles in the last season, Olivarez Jr. drew an opening round bye in the lower half of the draw but will face the winner between qualifier Francis Alcantara and Kim Saraza at 4 p.m. today.

Arcilla and Tierro will also both see action in the second round with the former taking on the victor in the Raymund Diaz-Cenon Gonzales Jr. clash and the latter clashing with the winner of the Jimmy Tangalin and qualifier Bryan Saarenas duel.

Also tipped to contend for the top P50,000 purse in the men’s singles of the event, put up by Olivarez family as part of its long-time commitment to help boost the sport and backed by Palawan Pawnshop, Stronghold Insurance, Milestone Guarantee Assurance Corp. and Sterling Insurance Company, are Ronald Joven, Fritz Verdad, Marc Reyes, Bryan Otico and Rolando Ruel Jr.

Fierce action is also expected in the women’s side with Clarice Patrimonio and Khim Iglupas bracing for another title showdown and Jade Capadocia, Christine Patrimonio, Shaira Rivera, Rachelle de Guzman, Miles Vitaliano and Chloe Saraza raring to spoil their projected title clash.

Also to be disputed in the week-long championship presented by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala at the Olivarez Sports Complex are the men’s and women’s doubles.