Philippine federation loses backing of 2 big corporate sponsors

Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop have disassociated themselves from the Philippine Tennis Association, a joint statement by the heads of the two companies has said.

“We can no longer give support an association we feel is mismanaged by two people who have not shown any platform and programs for the past many years,” Jean Henri Lhuillier, president and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier, said in statement emailed to ABS-CBN News on Monday said.

The two people Lhuillier is referring to are Philta president Buddy Andrada and secretary-general Romeo Magat, who were elected to their respective posts in a vote marred by a walkout involving Lhuillier.

Andrada had ruled the association for 20 years until 2006, returned to the position last July, then won the vote last week after announcing he wouldn't pursue the presidency.

“But we are only pulling out our support to the association but not to the development of tennis in the Philippines,” Lhuillier said.

“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 such as Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara and Katharina Lehnert.”

When Edwin Olivarez relinquished the federation presidency in July, Randy Villanueva, the vice president at the time, should have taken over.

Instead, a faction within Philta decided to break the association's constitution and called for a snap election, paving the way for Andrada's election.


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