Eric “Jed” Olivarez Jr., taking time out from his studies at Western Michigan U, hopes to make the most of his vacation as he joins the elite men’s Open field in the seventh Olivarez Cup which gets going Sunday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque.
A member of the seven-man Broncos tennis team, Olivarez finished 12-6 in singles, including an 8-4 record in Fall tournaments during the 2015-16 campaign. He kicked off the season by winning five straight matches and ended it winning his last four.
But he is expected to have his hands full against a slew of talented players in the full-packed 64-man field, headed by veteran Johnny Arcilla, Patrick John Tierro, Elbert Anasta and Fritz Verdad.
Olivarez is listed as No. 12 and drew an opening round bye in the six-day tournament, capping a three-week long tennis festival 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 in the talent-search.
He will take on the winner between Jacob Martin and Raymund Diaz on Monday.
With Palawan Pawnshop as chief backer and the Slazenger as the official ball, the Olivarez Cup also features the juniors age-group and the inter-school.
“It is our desire to help and further develop the sport and produce world class players because we believe that Filipino netters can be at par with the world’s best,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.
Heading the ladies Open singles cast are Marian Capadocia, Clarice Patrimonio, Maia Balce, Marinel Rudas, Christine Patrimonio, Hannah Espinosa, Rafaella Villanueva and last year’s winner Khim Iglupas.
Meanwhile, 16 teams gear up for a fierce showdown for the seventh Olivarez Open men’s interschool team championship which fires off tomorrow (Saturday) with Ateneo clashing with Perpetual Help and Letran tangling with La Salle-Zobel starting at 7 a.m.
Also on tap are the UST 1-Rizal Technological U duel, the Enderun College-UP II faceoff, UST II-Arellano I clash, the La Salle-Zobel II-UP 1 matchup, the Letran I-Jose Rizal U match, and the Arellano II-La Salle showdown.
De La Salle-Zobel, UP, UST, Letran and Arellano are fielding in two teams each.
Eight schools, on the other hand, will dispute the women’s interschool team crown with Arellano and Ateneo squaring off, La Salle facing San Sebastian College, Ateneo colliding with Woodrose School and Letran mixing it up with La Salle-Zobel.