• Otico rips Joven, barges into Olivarez semifinals


    Bryan Otico sustained fierce form and waylaid fifth seed Ronard Joven, 6-2, 6-3, to arrange a semifinal showdown with second seed Patrick John Tierro in the men’s Open singles of the seventh Olivarez Cup Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat on Thursday.

    Otico continued to dish out top form coming off a 6-3, 6-1 demolition of No. 4 Fritz Verdad Wednesday, dominating Joven with his power, baseline game and superb court coverage as the De La Salle-Zobel student claimed another seeded bet in the premier event sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and backed by backed by Milestone Guaranty and Assurance Corp. and Slazenger as official ball.

    But the 13th-ranked Philippine Tennis Academy mainstay will have his hands full when he guns for a shot at the championship as he faces Tierro, who turned back a tough Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr., 6-7(6), 7-5, 6-1, in the other featured quarterfinal match.

    Top seed Johnny Arcilla also breezed through the semis with a 6-0, 6-1 romp over Michael Madrio, who failed to break through his veteran rival’s solid defense and neutralize the many-time PCA Open champion’s attacks.

    But Arcilla expects a tougher challenge from No. 3 Elbert Anasta, who, however, walked the tightrope before subduing No. 6 Leander Lazaro in a pulsating 7-6(2), 7-5 encounter.

    Meanwhile, top seed Marian Capadocia and No. 2 Clarice Patrimonio stayed on collision course in the ladies Open singles after the former blasted Ma. Lyn Troncoso, 6-0, 6-1, and the latter ripped Aileen Rogan, 6-1, 6-0, to advance to the quarterfinals of the event 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 develop the sport and help discover fresh talents.

    Third seed Maia Balce also moved into the Last 8 with a 6-1, 3-1(ret.) win over Gaby Zoleta even as defending champion Khim Iglupas, also playing out of PTA, stormed past Rachelle de Guzman to set up a quarters duel with Christine Patrimonio.

    Others who advanced were Shaira Hope Rivera, who upset No. 7 Hannah Espinosa, 6-2, 6-3; Miles Vitaliano, who eliminated Crizzabelle Paulino, 6-1, 6-2; and Frances Santiago, who stunned No. 5 Marinel Rudas, 6-2, 6-3.

    Meanwhile, last year’s singles champion Francis Casey Alcantara and Otico defeated Noel Damian and Chris Prulla, 6-4, 6-2, to lead the quarters cast in the men’s doubles, including Joseph Arcilla-Olivarez, Anasta-Mark Alcoseba, Deo Talatayod-Jigo Pena, Lazaro-Verdad, Joven-Jacob Lagman, Roel Capangpangan-Madrio, Johnny Arcilla-Tierro.


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