Organizers hope to scout new talents in Cebuana net

The organizers of the 5th Cebuana Lhuillier Men’s Open Tennis set to kick off this Sunday at Baseline tennis courts are hoping to see new faces and potential players who could represent the country in international competitions someday.

Being the head coach of the Philippine Tennis Academy in Manila, tournament director Jun Toledo is ecstatic about this year’s staging as it will give him the opportunity to head-hunt for local talents, whom he will hone further to become international caliber athletes.

Toledo, who takes pride for being the first Cebuano to be part of the Philippine Team that saw action in the prestigious Davis Cup, dreams of another Cebuano Davis Cupper.

“Hopefully we will be able to scout potential international players with my former sponsors putting up this PTA. We have one player from Cebu right now, Iggy Pantino, whom I’ll also be training here during the week-long event,” said Toledo in a press conference yesterday at Baseline Restaurant.

Unfortunately, Pantino will not be able to see action as he is not yet 13 years old.

Meanwhile, four junior netters have been given wild card entries including the Austalia-bound Kyle Parpan along with Alex Lazaro’s brother Roderick, former top player Ramond Suarez’s son Stefan and Joshua Cano.

Another top junior player Jurence Mendoza is already included in the main draw being in the top 16 rankings.

So far, a dozen local netters will strut their wares in the men's open division, six in the doubles and four in the pro-am event.

The locals, however, they still need to go through the qualifying round beginning this Sunday. Only four qualifiers will advance into the main draw.

The deadline for registration is on Saturday at noontime. Entry fee is pegged at P500 regardless if one plays in all three categories.

“This is what Jean Henri (Lhuillier) upholds, to help Philippine tennis, to give exposure to the locals and hopefully make them international caliber atheletes,” said event administrator April Toledo. - Caecent No-Ot Magsumbol

Publication: The Freeman
Date: April 13, 2012

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