Double faults for Philta as more sponsors bolt

More sponsors are leaving the umbrella of the Philippine Tennis Association in protest against the anointment of Salvador Andrada as Philta president.

The Quorum Group of Companies joined Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop, organizers of the two biggest age-group tournaments in the country, is pulling out their support to Philta.

Cebuana and Palawan also announced that they would put up a unified ranking system for the age-group tournaments they are organizing.

“We are formally announcing that the tournaments organized by the Toby’s Youth Sports Foundation and Wilson Sports are withdrawing from the Philta calendar. We believe this is the right thing to do given the lack of a clearly defined program by the current leadership of Philta which has caused the stagnation of the sport in the country.” said Roberto Claudio, CEO of the Toby’s Youth Sports Foundation which has been organizing the Toby’s Summer Tennis Festival, one of the largest age-group tennis competitions held every April that is on its 16th year.

The withdrawal came despite Andrada’s announcement that he is stepping down as president and will call for an election within 30 days.

Former Philta executive vice president Randy Villanueva, organizer of the annual Tru-Flex National Age-Group, announced that the 17-year old tournament is also pulling out from the Philta calendar and will join the new unified ranking system.

The withdrawals are seen as part of a growing protest to overhaul the association which, over the years, has been controlled by a small group which rotates the top positions among its members.

The disenchantment came to a head last week when Jean Henri Lhuillier of Cebuanan Lhuillier, and Bobby Castro of Palawan Pawnshop, walked out of a meeting which they thought was to elect a new president of Philta.

Instead, the group selected Andrada to continue the unexpired term of Edwin Olivares and announced that no election for president will be held.

Andrada, 81, had previously held the post for 20 years and was reported to be in retirement because of declining health.

Andrada had promised last year that he would step down as soon as an election was held. But the promise was not fulfilled leading to the current crisis in the sport.


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