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Monday, June 24, 2024

Parañaque mayor voted new tennis federation head

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THE lifting of the suspension imposed on the Philippines by the International Tennis Federation is very important and must happen very soon.

This is the hope and wish of the new leadership of the Philippine Tennis Association after Paranaque City Mayor Eric Olivarez was elected as its new president.

“It’s one of the requirements which will help lift the suspension of the ITF. Because for the past three years, there was a suspension. And it’s very important to unify all the members of the association, the United Tennis Philippines and the PHILTA,” said Olivarez.

The 53-year-old Olivarez, a former age-group tennis player himself during his younger days, won the polls for president after he prevailed over businessman-sportsman Jean Henri Lhuillier, 13-2, during a separate election held by the board of trustees at the Sheraton Hotel in Vito Cruz, Manila.

A leadership crisis in Philta started on December 3, 2020 when the ITF suspended the national sports association for tennis following disagreements between Lhuillier, members of the board and then president Antonio Cablitas.

Because of the disagreements, the PHILTA was denied access to the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center and its right to form a national team by the Philippine Olympic Committee.

Olivarez was voted after the formation of a 15-member board of trustees following an early morning election.

He hopes that the government sports agency would again grant them access to the use of the tennis courts inside the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex and that they will be able to form national teams again.

Olivarez also hopes that they can stage international tournaments in the country once again. This will also allow PHILTA to field in top-caliber athletes in Davis Cup and Federation Cup events.

Around 120 members from the 13 member regions cast their votes during the three-hourlong meeting.

The board of trustees has been expanded to foster inclusivity, with Rollen Paulino of Region 3 named as president, and John Rey Tiangco named as secretary general.

Gerardo Alcala of Region 4A took in the post of treasurer, while April Toledo was appointed head of gender equality.

POC president Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino served as witness to the polls, while POC secretary general Wharton Chan, Atty. Billy Sumagui and skateboard chief Carl Sambrano acted as election committee officials.

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