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Olivarez shocks Tierro

Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr. used a strong start in each set to topple second seed and doubles partner PJ Tierro, 6-4, 6-4, and arrange a showdown for the men’s singles crown in the Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque yesterday.

Olivarez, taking time out from his studies at Western Michigan University, kept the momentum of his big victories over fourth seed Vicente Anasta, 6-4, 6-2, in the Last 16 and No. 5 Leander Lazaro, 6-3, 6-4, in the quarters, breaking Tierro early in each frame which he used as a cushion to earn a first-ever crack at the crown and the top R50,000 purse.

Using his power serve and banking on his steady baseline game, Olivarez took the first three games in the opening set and went 2-0 in the next before thwarting every Tierro fightback to clinch the win.

But standing in his way is the most feared player in the fold – top seed Johnny Arcilla, who struggled but prevailed over No. 3 Jason Patrombon, 7-5, 6-4, in the other Final Four clash in the eighth staging of the annual event staged by Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez along with Rep. Eric Olivarez and Dr. Pablo Olivarez as part of the family’s long-time commitment to boost the sport and help in the talent-search.

They dispute the crown at 10 a.m. today.

Khim Iglupas, meanwhile, moved closer to nailing a fourth straight women’s singles diadem in the event backed by Palawan Pawnshop, Stronghold Insurance, Milestone Guarantee Assurance Corp. and Sterling Insurance Company by thumping Patricia Velez, 6-0, 6-2, in their semis duel.