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Young Flores stands out in Olivarez tennis tourney

MANILA, Philippines – Twelve-year-old Jairo Flores showcased his burgeoning talent with impressive victories to kick off his campaign in the boys' 16-and-under division, signaling his readiness to compete at a higher level in the Mayor Eric Olivarez National Junior Tennis Championships in Sucat, Parañaque Thursday.

Despite being unranked, Flores, who recently clinched the boys' singles title at the Cordillera Administrative Regional Athletic Association (CARAA) meet in Kalinga, Apayao, defeated Wimbly Peraja 4-1, 4-2. He followed this up with another commanding performance, dominating No. 11 Kenji Kue, 4-1, 4-0, securing his spot in the third round of the tournament at the Olivarez Sports Center and Parañaque courts in Sucat.

Hailing from Tabuk City, Kalinga, Flores is known for his exceptional skills and well-rounded game at his young age. He views this Group 1 tournament as crucial preparation for the upcoming Palarong Pambansa in Cebu next month.

But Flores faces a tough challenge in the next round against No. 6 Anthony Cosca, who advanced after drubbing Dean Palaroan 4-2, 5-3 following an initial bye. The tournament, which attracted a record 416 participants across nine age groups, promises fierce competition in all categories.

The tennis festival spans two weeks, featuring the Open men's singles and doubles from June 8 to 16. Additionally, the Legends men's doubles, including the 30s, 40s, 50s, and 60s divisions, along with women's doubles for the 35s and 45s age categories, also got under way Friday till Sunday with the second part scheduled from June 14-16 at the OSC.

Qualifying rounds for the men's singles Open, meanwhile, will be held tomorrow (Sunday, June 9). For details, contact tournament director Bobby Mangunay at 0915-4046464.

Among the other early winners in the tournament, sanctioned by Philta and supported by Universal Ranking, Dunlop, and ICON Golf & Sports, are top seed Al Tristan Licayan, No. 2 Anthony Castigador, third-ranked Samuel Davila, No. 4 Brendan Morales, and fifth seed Julio Naredo.

Flores is also scheduled to compete in the 14-and-U category and the premier 18-and-U division of the event, sponsored by Mayor Olivarez and part of