Lhuillier looks set for Philta takeover

Published April 26, 2017, 1:00 AM

by Nick Giongco

A change in the leadership of the Philippine Tennis Association appeared imminent after officials of the Philippine Olympic Committee met with tennis patron Jean Henri Lhuillier a few days ago to discuss the succession process.

Lhuillier is being groomed to take over the association from interim president Edwin Olivares who is scheduled to step down once a new set of officers are installed.

Another meeting was scheduled last night between Lhuillier and the POC which will be represented by lawyer Charlie Ho for more discussions regarding the reorganization process.

The Philta has been wracked by dissension since February when an election to formally elect Lhuillier as Philta president ended in disarray after the Philta board chose former association president Salvador Andrada to lead the association.

Lhuillier, along with several followers, mostly respected patrons of tennis, walked out of the meeting in protest. Days later, several organizations and companies withdrew their support of Philta.

Following the revolt, the POC ordered a new election which has been set for early May with Lhuillier likely to be elected although this remains to be seen.

“Will formalize with his group tonight,” said Ho in a text message when asked if the meeting is meant to ensure that Lhuillier gains the Philta leadership.

“Kaunting hilot na lang,” said Ho, sounding upbeat that an agreement will be reached.

Ho will meet only with Lhuillier’s group made up of former president Lito Villanueva, his son, Randy, and Gerardo Maronilla.

A meeting last Friday was intended to seal the deal, but Lhuillier was unable to attend it and Ho said “there was no quorum.”

Last week, prior to the April 21 meeting, Romy Magat, secretary general of the Philta, said that his group would warmly welcome Lhuillier’s ascension.

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