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SunStar - Cebu 3rd time's the charm

THREE-TIMERS. Organizers of the Davis Cup match between the Philippines and Syria (from left) SAC President John Pages, Cebuana Lhuillier Regional Manager Anthony Arietta, Mayor Paz Radaza, Philta vice president Randy Villanueva, Councilor Don Harry Radaza and Plantation Bay Resort and Spa General Manager Efren Belarmino flash the no. 3 sign after announcing the third hosting of the city of a Davis Cup match.

For the third straight time, Lapu-Lapu City will host a Davis Cup match, this time between the Philippines and Syria for the Asia-Oceania Zone on Feb. 1-3, 2013 still at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.

For its third hosting, Lapu-Lapu City will offer the event for free to the public.

This was announced by Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) vice president and Davis Cup administrator Randy Villanueva during the press launching yesterday together with Sports Association of Cebu (SAC) president John Pages, Cebuana Lhuillier regional manager Anton Arietta, Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza, Councilor Harry Radaza and Plantation Bay Resort and Spa general manager Efren Belarmino.

“ We didn’t expect that the hosting of this tournament will be given to us in just a short span of time. After the tow hosting, we thought that it will take a long time before we can host it again. Supposedly sa Syria sana to but due to the conflict happening there, the Davis Cup organizers were looking at holding this on a neutral ground. But when Philta requested them and mentioned to them that this will be held in Lapu-Lapu, where the two Davis Cup ties were last played, they were convinced and granted the request,” said Villanueva.

Villanueva added that they want to correct the notion that hosting it in Lapu-Lapu is a jinx after the Philippines lost its previous ties to Japan and Chinese Taipei.

“One reason why we want this to be free to the public so that Cebuanos can get a chance to see and support our PHL team, to let the people from Syria know how supportive we are,” said Villanueva.

However, according to Belarmino the venue can only hold about a maximum of 800 spectators.

“We will design a control procedure, we might issue tickets. We will discuss this thoroughly because our main priority is the safety of our spectators,” said Belarmino, who believes that this will be another big bang in 2013 not only for tennis but as well as tourism. ISL

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