Stage set for another Olivarez-Arcilla finale

The Philippine Star
Stage set for another Olivarez-Arcilla finale
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.

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 used his experience to swiftly dispatch No. 4 Vicente Anasta, 6-2, 6-2.

These semifinal victories paved the way for an exciting clash of youth versus experience for the coveted men’s singles crown.

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

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