• Iglupas, Capadocia forge Olivarez title duel


    Khim Iglupas and Marian Capadocia lived up to the hype and ripped their respective rivals in emphatic fashions to seal a showdown for the women’s Open singles crown in the sixth Olivarez Cup Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque City on Friday.

    The top seeded Iglupas dominated Maia Balce in the opening set then broke her sixth-ranked rival once in the second to complete a 6-1, 6-4 victory while No. 2 Capadocia held off No. 4 Christine Patrimonio in the first frame then stamped her class in the next for a 6-4, 6-2 victory in the semifinals of the centerpiece event presented by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala through COO Bobby Castro and sanctioned by Philta.

    They dispute the crown at 1 p.m. today (Saturday) with Iglupas, 17, gunning for back-to-back after repulsing Edilyn Balanga, 7-6(4), 4-6, 6-4, in last year’s finals of the event backed by Dunlop Fort Clay Court as the official ball, Stronghold Insurance and Aseana City.

    “They both played aggressively and won impressively. The finals will be worth watching,” said Philta president and Paranaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez.

    While the Iligan City-based Iglupas, a mainstay of the Philippine Tennis Academy, has the experience and power, Capadocia, 19, hopes to neutralize her fancied rival’s edge with superb all-around game she has flaunted from the start of the event, netting her straight-set wins over Erika Manduriao, Sam Coyiuto and Patrimonio.

    Meanwhile, wild card Francis Alcantara ended Johnny Arcilla’s three-year reign, pulling off a shock 3-6, 6-3, 6-4 victory while top seed PJ Tierro bucked foot injury and stopped Jurence Mendoza, 6-7, 6-1, 6-2, in the men’s Open semis.

    Alcantara unleashed power serves that baffled the second seeded Arcilla, who slammed his racket when his service return went out, giving Alcantara a 5-4 lead in the deciding set.

    Tierro, on the other hand, came back strong from a tight first set setback where he injured his ankle while chasing a return shot. After a brief treatment, the veteran Davis Cupper was in his elements again, outclassing and overpowering Mendoza to seal a title clash with Alcantara.

    They face off for the championship tomorrow (Sunday) at 11 a.m.

    “Tierro has the edge but Alcantara has proven his worth, making their showdown a match to watch,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro, whose year-long nation-wide circuit has boosted the sport and produced a number of talents the last few years.


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