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Olivarez shoots for 2nd Open crown

PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF Olivarez Cup Eric Jed Olivarez is the man to beat in the Rep. Edwin Olivarez Cup in Parañaque.

Eric Jed Olivarez is poised for another “double,” including the singles Open crown, as he spearheads a stellar cast in the Rep. Edwin Olivarez Cup, set to kick off Monday at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat, Parañaque.

The 25-year-old Olivarez, coming off a triumphant 6-3, 6-4 victory over Fritz Verdad in the MITF Open in Iloilo last month, gained the top seeding in the 64-player field, looking to capitalize on the absence of seasoned Johnny Arcilla and Jose Maria Pague, who have begged off from participating in the 10-day championship due to injuries.

Despite the absence of AJ Lim, who won the Mayor Eric Olivarez Cup, also over Verdad, last August, the title chase promises to be fierce with a mix of veterans and upcoming talents in the roster. Notable contenders include Vicente Anasta, Alexis Acabo, Verdad, Eric Tangub, Noel Salupado, Jude Ceniza, Eury Dice Gaspar, Noel Damian and Loucas Fernandez.

To accommodate the big number of entries, the organizing Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala is holding a one-day qualifier Sunday where 32 bidders will vie for four slots in the main draw.

Olivarez, a Western Michigan U product, is also teaming up with Nilo Ledama as he aims for another doubles Open trophy after winning the MITF Open with absentee Josshua Kinaadman.

The Olivarez Cup features not only the men’s singles and doubles Open, but also the Legends’ men’s singles 35 and 45 and the Legends men’s doubles 30s, 40s and 50s.

Spicing up the event is the Grand Slam singles and doubles for juniors boys’ and girls’ with Brice Baisa, Ariel Cabaral, Frank Dilao and Kale Cyd Villamor leading the boys’ field and the Chloe Mercado, Sandra Bautista, Joy Ansay and Ronielle Oliveros bannering the girls’ cast.

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