THIRD seed Argil Lance Canizares cut short Jeremiah Latorre’s impressive run with a 6-3, 6-1 victory to seal a showdown with No. 1 Eric Jed Olivarez for the boys’ 18-and-under crown even as Katrina Orteza and Maia Balce forged an exciting title duel in the ladies side of the Palawan Pawnshop Regional age-group tennis tournament in Cainta, Rizal Tuesday.
Canizares, who held off No. 5 Vernon Huivonhua, 6-2, 7-5, in the quarters, stamped his class over Latorre, who bundled out No. 7 Jose Nicholas Cano and second seed Marcen Gonzales to reach the semis of the premier division.
But he wavered against Canizares, who broke Latorre twice in the opening frame before dominating the second.
He, however, will have his hands full as he faces the fancied Olivarez in Wednesday’s finals at 9 a.m. at the Brookside Hills Tennis Club.
Olivarez needed to toughen up in the second set to frustrate No. 4 Kyle Joseph, 6-3, 7-5, in the tournament sponsored by Palawan Pawnshop and backed by Babolat.
No. 5 Julian Dayrit, meanwhile, carved out a stunning 6-4, 1-6, 6-3 victory over Olivarez to barge into the finals of the 16-and-under division against the winner of the Marcen Gonzales-Jerome Romualdez semis clash.
Focus will also be on the girls’ 18-U finals with the top-seeded Orteza whisking off No. 4 Andrea Amistad, 6-1, 6-2, and No. 2 Balce surviving a first-set scare from No. 3 Isabella Orteza before hacking out a 7-6(4), 6-2 victory in the other semis clash.
“Both finals are expected to go down-to-the-wire with no player holding a distinct advantage over the other,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro.
Balce also made it to the semis of the 16-and-U class, facing off with Chloe Mae Saraza for a berth in the finals while Amistad and Isabella Orteza disputing the other championship berth.