Olivarez Open stakes berths for WTA Future Stars



The Olivarez Open unfolding Friday will not only be a showcase of the best talents in the Open, collegiate and interclub ranks but will also serve as a qualifier for the WTA Future Stars tournament among the country’s leading and rising junior players.

Organizers of the event, sanctioned by the Philippine Tennis Association and presented by Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Padala, said the winners in two categories in the girls’ side will make up the Philippine team set to compete against the best in the region in the WTA Future Stars meet set Oct. 17-20 at Kallang Tennis Center in Singapore.

“As an incentive for our junior players, the winners in the girls’ 14- and 16-and-U sections will represent the country in the tough WTA Future Stars tilt,” said Philta president and Paranaque City Mayor Edwin Olivarez.

Monica Therese Cruz, Rafaella Villanueva, Chloe Mae Saraza and Mikaella Vicencio head the girls’ 14-and-under cast while Khim Iglupas, Ma. Dominique Ong, Colleen Sioson and Saraza banner the field in the 16-and-U section.

Others expected to see action are Bea Acena, Blanche Lagrisola, Miles Vitaliano and Mariel So while Mariano Po, Mia So, Alexandra Eala, Renee Acena and Melanie Dizon have signed up in the other girls categories of the event, part of the country’s longest nationwide tennis circuit.

“Palawan Pawnshop has been in the forefront of discovering talents, especially in the countryside, as well as promoting and developing the sport,” said Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro. “We have staged around 15 straight tournaments thus far and we have more tournaments lined up for the rest of the year.”

“We always believe that Filipino tennis players can be at par with the world’s best given the proper training, support and exposure,” said Olivarez. “And we are thankful to Palawan Pawnshop for their commitment to help and develop the sport.”

The Group I age-group tournament will kick off the four-in-one tournament on Aug. 15-20 with the top finishers in the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala nationwide circuit vying in what promises to be the biggest gathering of the country’s future stars.

For details, contact tournament-in-charge/director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

The Interclub tournament will be held Aug. 16-31 while the top UAAP and NCAA teams will lead the cast in the Inter-college championship which starts Aug. 18 while the centerpiece Olivarez Open, a Group A tournament among members of the national team and pool and a slew of upcoming junior players, is set Aug. 23-31 with the qualifier slated Aug. 20-22.

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