Top seed Johnny Arcilla and doubles partner No. 2 Patrick John Tierro forged another title showdown in the Olivarez Cup Tennis Championship, bundling out their respective Final Four rivals in similar fashions at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque late Friday.
Arcilla, who copped the men’s Open singles crown in the 2013 edition of the annual event when Tierro retired in the fifth set due to cramps, imposed his will against third seed Elbert Anasta, scoring a 6-3, 6-2 triumph to clinch the first finals berth.
Not to be outdone, Tierro ended Bryan Otico’s giant-killing spree, fashioning out a 6-2, 6-3 victory over the 13th-ranked De La Salle-Zobel standout who upended the likes of No. 4 Fritz Verdad and fifth seed Ronard Joven to barge into the semis of the premier event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and backed by backed by Milestone Guaranty and Assurance Corp. and Slazenger as official ball.
Arcilla and Tierro dispute the crown today (Sunday) at 11 a.m. with odds about even between two of the country’s top players also clashing for the princely P50,000 purse put up 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 development of the sport.
But while Arcilla, who also won in 2014, chases his third Olivarez title in the last four years, Tierro hopes to snap a run of runner-up finishers in the event, including a four-set setback to fellow Davis Cupper Francis Casey Alcantara last year.
Arcilla gained another crack at the championship without dropping a set, yielding just 11 games while Tierro, after a sweep of his first two matches following an opening game bye, needed an extra set before repulsing Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr., 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-1, in the quarters.
Arcilla and Tierro also moved to the doubles finals with a tough 6-2, 4-6, 11-9 victory over Joven and Jacob Lagman, arranging a title duel with last year’s singles champion Alcantara and Otico, who held off Vicente Anasta and Mark Alcoseba, 7-5, 7-5.
Meanwhile, fourth seed Khim Iglupas and second seed Clarice Patrimonio were dispute the ladies Open singles crown at presstime with the former seeking a third straight championship.
The Iligan City-based Iglupas, a Philippine Tennis Academy mainstay, stunned top seed Marian Capadocia 6-7(8), 7-5, 6-3, in the semis while Patrimonio eased out Maia Balce, 6-3, 6-1.
Patrimonio is actually eyeing a twinkill after she and sister Christine toppled top seed Shaira Rivera and Marinel Rudas, 6-3, 6-0, to capture the doubles title.