Bryan Otico and Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr. dished out a pair of superb all-around games to topple No. 4 Fritz Verdad Jr. and seventh ranked Rolando Ruel Jr., respectively, and barge into the quarterfinal round of the seventh Olivarez Cup Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat on Wednesday.
Otico, a Philippine Tennis Academy mainstay and ranked No. 13 in the 64-player field, broke Verdad twice in the opening set then dominated the next to fashion out a 6-3, 6-1, victory while Olivarez, playing out of Western Michigan U, also outplayed Ruel and carved out a 6-2, 6-2, romp to clinch berts in the Last 8 of the men’s Open singles of one of the country’s premier tournaments sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop.
No. 5 Ronard Joven scored a walkover win over Manuel Balce III to arrange a Last 8 face-off with Otico of De La Salle-Zobel, while Olivarez, 18, will take on second seed Patrick John Tierro, who eased out Noel Damian Jr., 6-4, 6-2.
Top seed Johnny Arcilla cruised to the quarters with a walkover win over Jet Asilo but is expected to face stiff resistance against Michael Madrio, who came away with a 7-6(1) ret. win over No. 9 Deo Talatayod, in the quarters of the event and staged Parañaque Mayor Edwin Olivarez along with Rep. Eric Olivarez and Dr. Pablo Olivarez as part of the family’s long-time commitment to develop the sport and help discover fresh talents.
“We expect more reversals both in the men’s and ladies divisions with a bumper crop of young players eager to prove their worth,” said Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.
Third seed Elbert Anasta and No. 6 Leander Lazaro arranged a quarters duel after the former subdued Jan Godfrey Seno, 6-4, 6-3, and the latter won by default over Marcus del Rosario in the event backed by Milestone Guaranty and Assurance Corp. and Slazenger as official ball.
Meanwhile, De La Salle-Zobel I posted a pair of 3-0 routs over Letran and Ateneo to roll into the semifinals of the inter-school team men’s competition. The Alabang-based school will play UST I, which also swept UP II, 3-0, while UST II nipped UP I, 2-1, to likewise advance against La Salle, which tripped Letran, 3-0, in the lower half of the draw.
Arellano U, on the other hand, came away with 2-1 victories over Ateneo II and La Salle to seal a title showdown with De La Salle-Zobel in the women’s team play. DLS-Z whipped Letran and Ateneo I via the same scores, 3-0, to advance to the championship round.