Local tennis gets shot in the arm

Publication: People’s Tonight
Date: June 12, 2012

WITHOUT fanfare, the Philippine Tennis Academy is now in the midst of selecting young tennis talents and making them reach the top 10 in the International Tennis Federation junior rankings.

Organized last year by a group of long time tennis lovers and patrons led by sportsman -businessman Jean Henri Lhuillier, Oscar Hilado, Rommie Chan, and Hanky Lee, the PTA was formed with identifying and training talents and providing under-privileged boys and girls in the country the opportunity to use their skills in the sport.

Seeing the chance to help, former national players Felix Barrientos and Raymond Suarez are also pitching in to share their international experience with the young PTA talents.

The first group of trainees, composed of Roxanne Resma from Cagayan de Oro, Anthony Craig Pantino from Cebu, Khim Iglupas from Iligan City, and Tami Nguyen from Alabang, Muntinlupa, was formed last year and within a short time, these young hopefuls have already shown what they can be in the future.

Resma is ranked number one in the 16 & under and has represented the country in the Junior Federation Cup in Australia, while Pantino at 11, is already dominating the 14 & under group and plays already in the 16& under.

Nguyen was a semifinalist in the PCA Open and has won a scholarship to the University of San Diego while Iglupas is currently the country’s best in the 14 & under girls.

“Individually, w ehave been sponsoring players in the past and we felt it was time to pool our resources together with Nino Alcantara as our first project. We believe Filipinos are talented tennis players especially at their younger ages but when they get older, nawawala na competitiveness. That is why we will start them young and look for college scholarships for them in America,” said Chan, who tapped Andy Maglipon as project director.

Among these colleges are Fresno State University and Sta. Clara University both in California.

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