Search for prospects

By Iste S. Leopoldo
Thursday, April 12, 2012

ORGANIZERS are encouraging the youth to join the two-day qualifying round of the 5th Cebuana Lhuillier tennis circuit at the Baseline Recreation Center tennis courts on April 15 and 16.

The 32-man main draw will start on April 17 and will have the singles, doubles and pro-am matches. The tournament is open to participants at least 13 years old

“As of now we have about 12 qualifiers, we are expecting to reach 30 qualifiers. We have until noon of April 14 and the registration will be closed,” April Toledo said during a press conference yesterday together with co-organizer and her husband, Jun Toledo and Cebuana Lhuillier’s marketing specialist Dyan Marie Bohol at Baseline Restaurant.

Each year, the tournament attracts new and promising players like Junior Davis Cup team members Jurence Zosimo Mendoza, wild card entries Kyle Parpan, Stefan Suarez and Joshua Andrew Cano and that is expected to boost interest among Cebu’s young players.

According to Jun Toledo, who is also the head coach of the Philippine Tennis Academy (PTA), this year he wants to recruit younger Cebuano players to be part of the academy and prepare them for international tournaments.

“Fifth year na tayo, pinaka importante sa akin and to Cebuana Lhuillier ang tournament na ito because we brought this here in Cebu to give the Cebuanos a chance to face our country’s top players and a chance to be spotted especially now that the former sponsors of the tournament have put up a tennis academy, the PTA, and now I am here to scout players,” he said.

Late last year, they were able to recruit Cebuano junior netter Arthur Craig “Iggy” Pantino who has shown great potential to become the next Cebuano Davis Cupper.

The first Cebuano to become a Davis Cupper was Jun Toledo.

“Once spotted, we will bring them to Manila and train them and expose them to international tournaments,” said Jun, who hopes that with PTA, they can produce another Cebuano Davis Cup team member.

The 32-man draw will include the top 16 players in the country, led by No. 1 Johnny Arcilla.

The rest of the main draw will be eight from direct acceptance, four wild card entries and four from the qualifiers.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 13, 2012.


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