Jeson Patrombon and Jed Olivarez lived up to the hype as they dispatched their respective rivals in contrasting fashions on Friday to arrange a much-awaited face-off for the PPS-PEPP Olivarez Cup Open crown at the Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat.
Bracing for a spirited duel with many-time Davis Cup teammate Arcilla, the 28-year-old Patrombon hardly found a challenge instead, dominating the veteran campaigner before claiming the abbreviated win when the latter retired due to injury, 6-1 (ret.).
The top-seeded Patrombon thus kept his imposing run in the event marking the return of the country’s longest-running tennis circuit after a two-year hiatus due to global health crisis with the Iligan City ace dropping just 15 games in four matches to earn another stab at the championship.
Olivarez also piled up three straight-set victories before the second-ranked ace rammed into a tough Vicente Anasta in the semis. But the 23-year-old talent bounced back strong from a stinging second-set setback, put his act together in the decider and pulled off a 6-2, 1-6, 6-3 triumph in their side of the Final Four.
They dispute the crown at 9 a.m. on Saturday with Patrombon tipped to bank on his experience and all-around prowess while Olivarez is itching to spring a surprise on home turf and prove his worth against his more seasoned rival.
The duo also poised themselves for a sweep of two titles as they advanced to the semifinal round of the doubles play with convincing wins last Thursday.
With Anasta as partner, Patrombon rolled past Loucas Fernandez and Aljon Talatayod, 6-2, 6-2, in the upper half of the draw while Olivarez and Joewyn Pascua clobbered Exequiel Jucutan and James Mina, 6-1, 6-2.
Patrombon and Anasta were playing Noel Damian, Jr. and Leander Lazaro, who held off Norman Enriquez and Joshua Kinaadman, 6-2, 7-6(5), at presstime for a spot in the finals, also slated at 1 p.m.
Arcilla and Kyle Dandan foiled Kim Saraza and Marc Jarata, 7-5, 6-0, but the former remains unsure of his stint against the Olivarez-Pascua pair for the other finals seat in the event put up by the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala and backed by Dunlop, Rep, Eric Olivarez and Olivarez Sports Center.
Meanwhile, the organizing PPS-PEPP is lining up another busy calendar for the season, including competitions in the age-group divisions aimed at discovering and developing young talents, particularly from the countryside. For details and listup, contact event organizer Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.