By Jean Malanum

TWIN VICTORIES. Eric Jed Olivarez holds the singles and doubles titles he won in the MITF National Open in Iloilo in November. Olivarez defeated Eric Jay Tangub, 6-2, 7-5, in the semifinal of the Rep. Edwin Olivarez Cup at Olivarez Sports Center clay court in Parañaque City on Friday (Dec. 8, 2023) to advance to the final against Fritz Chris Verdad on Dec. 10. (Contributed photo)

MANILA – Top seed Eric Jed Olivarez banked on his powerful forehand to beat No. 5 Eric Jay Tangub, 6-2, 7-5, in the men’s singles semifinal of the Rep. Edwin Olivarez Cup at Olivarez Sports Center clay court in Parañaque City on Friday.

He will face No. 4 Fritz Chris Verdad in the final at 1 p.m. on Sunday.

Verdad advanced after ousting No. 2 Elbert Anasta, 6-3, 4-0 (ret.).

Olivarez, a quarterfinalist at the recent PCA Open, is eyeing his second consecutive title victory over Verdad, whom he beat, 6-3, 6-4, at the MITF Open Tennis Championship in Iloilo last month.

Meanwhile, Olivarez and Verdad also made it to the men’s doubles final with different partners.

The top-ranked pair of Olivarez and Nilo Ledama defeated Anasta and Roel Damian, 6-2, 7-5, in the semifinals.

No. 7 seeds Verdad and Rolly John Saga ousted No. 2 seeds Jose Maria Pague and Bryan Saarenas, 6-3, 6-2.

In the Legends division, Aldrin Geluz and Chat Conta will dispute the title in the 35’s category. Geluz will meet JD Benitez in the 45’s category final.

Playing in the men’s doubles 30’s final are Rollie Anasta and Conta against Saarenas and Ken Salvo. (PNA)