Olivarez, Arcilla to dispute National Open Tennis crown

Olivarez, Arcilla to dispute National Open Tennis crown
Eric Jed Olivarez
Contributed photo

MANILA, Philippines -- Eric Jed Olivarez and Johnny Arcilla secured crucial victories in contrasting fashions, setting the stage for a title showdown between the tournament’s top two seeds in the Mayor Eric Olivarez National Open Tennis Championships at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque Friday.

The top-seeded Olivarez had to recover from an early setback to defeat No. 6 Alexis Acabo, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, while the second-ranked Arcilla utilized his veteran experience to swiftly dispatch No. 4 Vicente Anasta, 6-2, 6-2.

These semifinal victories pave the way for an exciting clash of youth versus experience for the coveted men’s singles crown, set for 1 p.m. Sunday, June 16.

Arcilla had previously beaten Olivarez in the finals of the Lanao del Norte Open in June 2023. However, Olivarez got his revenge two months later, defeating Arcilla in the semifinals before rallying past Joshua Kinaadman in the Hagedorn Open finals in Puerto Princesa.

Olivarez, a Western Michigan University product, also triumphed over Fritz Verdad to capture the Rep. Edwin Olivarez Cup last December.

On his way to the finals, Olivarez defeated Eric Tangub, 6-1, 6-4, in the quarterfinals. Despite stumbling against Acabo in the semis, he managed to rebound and win the next two sets.

Meanwhile, Arcilla dominated Verdad, 6-2, 6-1, in the quarterfinals and then outplayed Anasta to move one victory away from nailing another championship.

Both players are also poised for a potential sweep as they advanced to the finals of the men’s doubles competition. Arcilla, partnered with Francis Alcantara, edged out Rolly Saga and Verdad with a thrilling 7-6(4), 7-6(5) win in a closely contested semifinal.

In contrast, Olivarez and Bryan Saarenas cruised past Miguel Iglupas and Loucas Fernandez, 6-1, 6-2.

In juniors competitions, top seed Jana Diaz and Erynne Ong forged a duel for two titles after the former shut down Cadee Dagoon, 6-0, 6-0, in the girls’ 16-and-under semifinals, then smothered Marielle Jarata, 6-1, 6-3, in the 18-and-U semis.

The sixth-ranked Ong, on the other hand, crushed second seed Sandra Bautista, 6-3, 6-2, in the 16-and-U semis, then blasted AJ Acabo. 6-4, 6-1, in the premier age category of the Group I tournament held under the PPS-PEPP program, initiated by Palawan Pawnshop president/CEO Bobby Castro.

In boys’ division of the event sanctioned by Philta and supported by Universal Ranking, Dunlop, and ICON Golf & Sports, Evan Bacalso and John Benedict Aguilar will dispute the 18-and-U crown; Al Tristan Licayan and Lucas Go duel for the 16-and-U trophy; Troan Vytiaco and Anthony Castigador slug it out for the 14-and-U title; and Daniel Sy and Jan Caleb Villeno tangle for the 12-and-U diadem.

In girls’ finals, it will be Dagoon and Ayl Gonzaga for the 14-and-U crown; while Etha Seno and Carolina Fandino collide for the 12-and-U trophy. The 10-and-U unisex finals, meanwhile, will feature Yuan Torrente and Raven Licayan.

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