There is obvious divisiveness but stakeholders and respected personalities of Philippine tennis continue to call for unity amid the International Tennis Federation’s two-year ban on Philippine Tennis Association (Philta).
Many-time national team coach Roland Kraut expressed his concern on the effects of the ban to upcoming young players and even professionals who gained a lot of traction from the recent Southeast Asian Games held in Manila.
“The suspension saddens me.  It is useless to point fingers and look for somebody to blame.  Time to put pride on the side and think of only one thing – the tennis players who will lose their chance to represent the country in ITF team competitions,” said many-time national team coach Roland Kraut.
But Philta president Antonio Cablitas seemed bent on excluding personalities from a planned election which, he said, could be done as early as January next year.
In a post on Philta’s Facebook page, Cablitas apparently blamed Unified Tennis Philippines founders Jean Henri Lhuillier, the late Randy Villanueva, former Philta president Julito Villanueva and Gerard Maronilla as the reason for the suspension when the group filed the complained against the country’s tennis association.
The UTP however remains steadfast in calling for solutions to the current dilemma hounding Philippine tennis.
“First of all, this is not the time for finger pointing but a time for coming up with solutions.  As president of Philta, I think he should be offering solutions on how to get out of this mess and embarrassment for Philippine tennis. He owes that to the Philippine tennis community,” said the UTP statement.
Philta was given a two-year suspension by the ITF after they continue to snub deadlines given by the ITF to submit reportorial requirements, which should include plans for amending the constitution to increase memberships.
ITF President David Haggerty himself has branded Philta of being an “exclusive membership base” and this does not qualify them to be a national sporting federation.
Haggerty also noted that Philta does not comprise of regional representatives of various sports organizations which should be presided over by the sporting clubs themselves.
Current national team members, most notably former Australian doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara, are deeply concerned about the potential backlash of the failure of Philta to act on this matter.
“It’s really hard for us tennis players, already contending with this pandemic, and then hearing that Philta being suspended by the ITF, hurts us even more. We’ve been out of competition for almost a year now and we just want to go back and be able compete again,” said Alcantara.

Source: Manila Bulletin (