Fri. Oct 22nd, 2021


Francis Casey Alcantara will remain active by playing in the United States. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ/FILE PHOTO

Tennis coach Karl Santamaria is packing his bags for Melbourne while national team player Francis Casey Alcantara has been competing in the United States. For some of the local talents rendered inactive by the current imbroglio in Philippine tennis, the options are elsewhere.

Santamaria, the most dominant coach in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) the past two decades, is taking on a job at an Australian tennis academy and feels that his exit won’t be the last if the International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspension against the Philippines drags on.

“It’s sad we haven’t taken advantage of the fact that tennis is among few sports allowed in the pandemic,” Santamaria said.

Unified Tennis of the Philippines (UTP) head Jean Henri Lhuillier said he’s open to a discussion with Philta president lawyer Antonio Cablitas on how to move toward the lifting of the ITF suspension.

“[The situation] feels bad; the last thing we really want [is] for Philippine tennis to be suspended,” Lhuillier told Sports Radio. “But we can resolve this. If Atty. Cablitas would like to meet privately and discuss how we can fix this. We’d be glad to meet them.”

Cablitas has also said that he had invited Lhuillier to meetings to iron out the problem, but the latter has never showed up.

Last September, the ITF slapped a two-year sanction against the Philta for failing to enacts amendments to its by-laws to accommodate more stakeholders—as well as hold new elections.

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