Wanted: Tennis Godfather

THE Philippine Tennis Association is knocking on sponsors’ door for the country’s hosting of International Tennis Federation Men’s Futures tournaments next year.

Philta vice-president Randy Villanueva said holding a high-level international competition such as the ITF Futures are good avenues to expose the Filipino netters as they facing a stiff competition in the Asia Oceania Davis Cup Group 1 competition.

The Filipino remained in Group 1 of the Davis tie after beating Korea, 3-2, over the weekend in Seoul.

“Our players need to play in more international tournaments,” said Villanueva when he graced the weekly PSA Forum held yesterday at the Shakey’s Restaurant in U.N. Ave.

Villanueva was joined by veteran Davis Cupper veteran Cecil Mamiit and Elbert Anasta.

Other members of the Philippine Davis Cup team are Treat Huey and Johnny Arcilla.

The Philta plans to stage two to three events of the ITF Futures. But to do so, the association has to get the backing of both the government and corporate sponsors.

ITF Futures tournaments usually offer a total of US$10,000 to US$15,000 in cash prizes alone.

“We need US$60,000 to hold these tournaments. Hopefully we can get the support of the Philippine Sports Commission, Cebuana Lhuilier and former congressman Romeo Jalosjos.”

Cebuana Lhuilier is the corporate backer of the RP Davis Cup while Jalosjos is privately supporting the international campaign of rising Pinoy netters Jeson Patrombon and Marc Reyes.

“(Patrombon and Reyes) are planning to play in ITF Futures tournament so we’re hoping Mr. Jalosjos could help us in this endeavor,” said Villanueva.

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