TOP supporters from the private sector have withdrawn its support of the Philippine Tennis Association, citing lack of trust with the personalities running the organization.
Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop have both declared to continue their age-group tennis tournaments, but without the sanction of the PHILTA. They will instead introduce their own unified ranking system.
“We can no longer give support to an association we feel is mismanaged by two people (Buddy Andrada and Romeo Magat), who have not shown any platform and programs for the past many years. But we are only pulling out our support to the association, but not to the development of tennis in the Philippines. We will continue our thrust of developing fresh talents through our age-group tennis circuit and we are upholding our support to our national team professional athletes like Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara and Katharina Lehnert,” said Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier and long-time tennis supporter.
“We feel that PHILTA, under the leadership of Mr. Andrada and Mr. Magat have been grossly remiss in its mission of advancing the sport of tennis in the Philippines. We believe that for Philippine tennis to advance, we need fresh ideas and new leadership,” said Bobby Castro, president and CEO of Palawan Pawnshop.
Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop comprise more than 80% of the age-group tournaments in the country underlying the lack of programs from PHILTA. The two companies are also responsible for numerous men’s tennis opens, including some international-laden tournaments.
The exit of these sponsors are just the first of what is expected to be a series of protest actions by different tennis stakeholders on Andrada’s insistence to retain the presidency.
Andrada recently reneged from his vow of leaving the presidency during discussions with the PHILTA board, ITF PRESIDENT David Haggerty and POC president Peping Cojuangco last October 2016.
He later confirmed to the PHILTA board on its last meeting on Dec. 14 , 2016 that he is stepping down from the presidency, but decided to stay on and not open the position in the recent PHILTA elections.