Unseeded Balanga caps Olivarez semis cast

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Edilyn Balanga scored a stunning 6-0, 6-1 upset win over fourth seed Aileen Rogan yesterday to join favorites Clarice Patrimonio, Marinel Rudas and Marian Jade Capadocia in the women’s singles semifinals of the third Olivarez Cup Open Tennis Championships at Olivarez Sports Center in Sucat.

The unseeded, Spain-based Balanga, 24, showcased top-quality tennis to arrange a Final Four clash with national team mainstay Patrimonio, who crushed Grace Espinosa, 6-1, 6-2, in the tournament presented by Palawan Pawnshop and held in honor of former Parañaque mayor Dr. Pablo Olivarez.

The top-seeded Rudas routed age-group ace Roxanne Resma, 6-1, 6-3, to advance against Capadocia, who halted Katrina Orteza, 6-3, 7-5.

Clarice paired with sister Christine to oust Rose Cruz and Cheryl Macasera, 6-2, 6-2, and reach the doubles semifinals. They next face Rudas and Hannah Espinosa, who downed Khim Iglupas and Resma, 7-5, 0-6, 10-8.

Marian Capadocia and sister Jella advanced with a 6-0, 6-0 rout of Liza Babia and Elena Duran in the tournament also sponsored by Dunlop Sports, Stronghold Insurance and FedEx Air21. The Capadocias next tangle with Maia Balce and Rogan, who downed Isabella Mendoza and Alyssa Labay, 7-5, 6-3.

Meanwhile, Palawan Pawnshop COO Bobby Castro announced the staging of two age group tournaments—the Cainta-Palawan Pawnshop tilt on March 18 to 24 and the Palawan Pawnshop on March 30 to April 3.

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