Tennis: National players frustrated as PH to miss Davis Cup


Posted at Sep 14 2021 06:56 PM

Tennis action during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Kori Quintos, ABS-CBN News
Tennis action during the 2019 Southeast Asian Games. Kori Quintos, ABS-CBN News

MANILA, Philippines -- Some of the country's national tennis players have expressed their frustration at missing out on the Davis Cup, as the Philippines remains barred from competing in international events.

This as the country's national sports association for tennis, the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA), is in the midst of a two-year suspension meted out by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). 

PHILTA's suspension, which came to light in December 2020, was due to issues on "governance and representation."

Treat Huey, the country's veteran doubles specialist, said it was "embarrassing" that the federation remains suspended, keeping them from playing in the Davis Cup.

The Philippine Davis Cup Team was supposed to play in Asia-Oceania Group 3 from September 15-18 in Amman, Jordan.

"It's heartbreaking that I don't have the opportunity to represent the country this week, and help us win and earn promotion to Group 2," said Huey. "To have the team withdraw from the Davis Cup this year by the ITF because of the state of our tennis federation is truly sad."

Another veteran, Ruben Gonzales, said he was looking forward to playing in the Davis Cup again, "whenever that will be."

"Playing [in the] Davis Cup and representing my country has honestly been the biggest honor of my career," he said.

Meanwhile, Nino Alcantara also expressed his sadness at the situation, noting that he has been asked by some fellow players why they were absent from the competition.

"I'm really sad that we are banned from playing in the Davis Cup. A few friends of mine that are playing the tie in Jordan have messaged me asking why we are not playing and I just told them what happened and how we got banned by the ITF," he said.

"I wish all the teams there good luck and I hope they stay safe during the tie," he added.

The Philippines was supposed to play against Hong Kong, Kuwait, Jordan, Malaysia, Pacific-Oceania, Qatar, Sri Lanka, Syria, and Vietnam.

In December 2020, PHILTA president Atty. Antonio Cablitas said they were working on resolving the problems that caused their suspension by the ITF.

Cabiltas also expressed his belief that the reason behind their suspension is "flawed," and accused a rival group of working in a "clandestine manner that led to our suspension by the ITF so much so that we became isolated."

At the time, the country's national players were also advised to "stay out of the PHILTA politics."