Sixteen girls representing various cities nationwide are competing in the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ Tennis Challenge Under-14 and Under-16 Qualifying Tournament which will conclude on Sunday at the Makati Sports Complex.
Winners in both categories will have the honor of representing the Philippines in the coming Women’s Tennis Association Future Stars to be held in Singapore in October.
Cebuana Lhuillier president Jean Henri Lhuillier expressed elation on the good turnout of competitors for this year’s tourney
“Since 2016, we have witnessed the potential and talent of many junior tennis players from all over the Philippines through the Cebuana Lhuillier Girls’ Tennis Challenge. And they never fail to make us proud once they’re already in Singapore competing on the global stage. I am very happy with the turnout for this year and have only the fondest wishes for each and every one of them. May the best girls win,” he said.
Lhuillier also highlighted the importance of grassroots tennis competitions in honing future global stars: “I’ve always believed—both in my capacity as the president of Unified Tennis Philippines and as a sports enthusiast—that the best way to develop future world champions is to train them and expose them to as many local competitions, grassroots tennis programs and workshops as possible. Our current line-up of competitors is also a testament on the diversity of the talent we currently have,” he added.
Competing for the Under-14 category are Macie Carlos from Mandaluyong City, Julia Asaliah Ignacio of Lucena City, Tiffany Claire Nocos of Cebu, Corazon Lambonao of Ormoc, Tennielle Madis of North Cotabato, Casey Padilla of Cagayan de Oro, Mica Ella Emana of Manila and Sittie Nur Jillian Manangking of Cotabato Province. Meanwhile, Rovie Baulete of Iligan City, Bliss Bayking of Negros Occidental, Anna Laura de Myer of Pangasinan, Ellaine Rose Bahonsia of Siquijor, Pherl Bless Coderos of Cebu, Shodel Aighey Gica of Cebu City, Justine Hannah Maneja of Quezon City and Minette April Bentillo round off the Under 16 category.
Prior to taking their chances to compete in the WTA, most of this year’s competitors have been making the rounds honing their skills from the various grassroots tennis competitions through the years, including the Cebuana Lhuilllier Age Group Tennis tourney, as well as those organized by other brands.
This year’s tournament is sanctioned by Unified Tennis Philippines and supported by Malayan Insurance, Dunlop and the Makati Sports Club.