UTP National Team, papalo sa ITF tilt

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IPINAHAYAG ng Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP) ang pagbuo ng unang national junior tennis team na isasabak sa iba’t ibang torneo sa abroad na sanctioned ng International Tennis Federation (ITF) at Asian Tennis Federation (ATF).

Binubuo ang UTP national junior tennis team ng 24 na player – apat na lalaki at apat na babae sa Under-14, Under-16 at Under-18 categories. Napili sila batay sa UTP national ranking system sa nakalipas na 125 UTP sanctioned tournaments sa bansa.

Miyembro ng U-14 team sina John David Velez, Brent Sigmond Cortez, Rainier Angelo Selmar, Rupert Ohrelle Tortal, Macie Carlos, Alexa Joy Milliam, Casey Padilla, at Alexandra Eala, kampeon sa nakalipas na prestigious Les Petit 14 and Under European Championships sa Francem habang ang U-16 players ay sina Michael Francis Eala, Stephen Zion Guia, John David Velez, Laurenz Quitara, Rovie Baulete, Anna Laura De Myer, Pherl Bless Cordero, at Denise Bernardo.

Samantala, ang mga players sa U-18 ay sina Manuel Balce III, Marc Nicole Suson, Arthur Craig Pantino who clinched an international doubles title in the Hong Kong ITF Juniors Tournament, Michael Francis Eala, Bea Francesca Acena, Elizabeth Abarquez, Melanie Faye Dizon, at Mary Aubrey Calma.

Sa kasalukuyan, limang miyembro ng national team — tephen Guia, Marc Suson, Pherl Coderos, Anna De Myer, at Denis Bernardo— ay humahataw sa 10th ITF Malacca International Junior Championship sa Malaysia.

“I am very thankful to UTP for the chance to play in the ITF International Junior Championship in Malaysia. This is my first time to compete abroad and I am very excited,” pahayag ni De Myer.

“I would like to congratulate all of you for being the first team to represent our organization in an international event. Not many people are given the chance to play abroad. You guys earned the right to go, so take advantage of that and seize the moment. This is your chance to excel,” sambit ni UTP president Jean Henri Lhuillier, pangulo at CEO ng Cebuana Lhuillier.

“We understand the importance of building a competent team to foster a shared national pride among us Filipinos. We believe that our participation in events such as this will fuel the passion and determination of the younger generation to be globally competitive not only in tennis but also in other sports,” pahayag naman ni Bobby Castro, president and CEO ng Palawan Pawnshop, kumakalinga sa U-14 boys’ and girls’ teams.

Ang Palawan Pawnshop ang sumusuporta sa U-14 boys’ and girls’ teams habang ang Cebuana Lhuillier ang tagapagtaguyod ng U-16 boys’ and girls’ teams at U-18 girls’ team. Kinakalinga naman ng UTP volunteers, binubuo ng mga dating junior tennis players, tennis enthusiasts, successful tennis coaches na nakabase sa abroad at anonymous donors ang U-18 boys team.