KIM Saraza and Leander Lazaro hacked out a pair of thrilling victories over their respective fancied rivals to stir up play in the men’s singles of the third Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championship at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat.
The 10th ranked Saraza, playing out of Perpetual Help, proved steadier than No. 5 Roel Capangpangan and eked out a 6-4, 7-6(4) victory, while the No. 9 Lazaro, the reigning UAAP MVP from National University, fought back from a set down to frustrate Fil-Italian eighth seed Marc Reyes, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2.
But the duo will have to raise the level of their respective games a notch higher as they face a pair of fancied rivals for berths in the semifinal round of the event presented by Palawan Pawnshop and held in honor of former Paranaque mayor Dr. Pablo Olivarez.
Saraza faces top seed Johnny Arcilla, who subdued brother Joseph, 6-3, 6-2, in their side of the duel, while Lazaro squares off with fourth seed Rolando Ruel Jr., who swept Pablo Olivarez, 6-4, 6-2, in the tournament presented by Dunlop Sports, Stronghold Insurance, Fed-ex Air21 and Olivarez Sports Center.
Defending champion Vicente Anasta breezed through the quarters with a walkover win over Marcen Gonzales with the No. 2 seed taking on sixth seed Ronard Joven, who thwarted Arcie Manio, 7-6(3), 6-3.
Third seed Patrick Tierro also stamped his class over Arvin Ruel, 6-4, 6-2, to seal a Last 8 showdown with No. 7 Mark Anthony Alcoseba, who defeated Jacob Lagman, 6-2, 6-3,
Action in the ladies singles was to resume late Friday with top seed Marinel Rudas colliding with third ranked Marian Capadocia and No. 2 defending champion Clarice Patrimonio testing giant-killer Edilyn Balanga’s mettle.
Meanwhile, the sponsoring Palawan Pawnshop, through COO Bobby Castro, resumes its age-group tournaments with the staging of the Cainta-Palawan Pawnshop Open on March 18-24 to be followed by the Palawan Pawnshop Age Group match on March 30-April 3.