MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) -- The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) apologized after claiming that it has given financial support for Filipino tennis phenom Alex Eala, a claim vigorously denied by the teenager's family.
In a since-deleted post on their Facebook page, the PSC congratulated Eala on her recent run in the French Open girls' tournament, wherein she reached the semifinals before falling to hometown bet Elsa Jacquemot.
"We are proud of what Alex has achieved in the French Open. This is another milestone for Philippine tennis and for Philippine sports. We are happy to be part of her journey," PSC Chairman William "Butch" Ramirez was quoted as saying.
In the same post, the PSC claimed it "backed" Eala by providing her with P3-M for her tournament travels as well as a two-month training in Europe and the United States. They also claimed to have given her P1.5-M in assistance for competing in six international tournaments.
But her mother, Rizza Maniego-Eala, and her uncle, former PBA Commissioner Noli Eala, strongly denied these claims by the PSC.
Noli Eala, on Twitter, stressed that "Alex has not received a single centavo from the government."
He also explained that Eala's training abroad is due to her scholarship from the Rafa Nadal Academy, and her trips "are paid by the family through Alex's generous private sponsors."
"Alex is sacrificing for the country," the former PBA Commissioner said. "Stop grandstanding."
Meanwhile, her mother said that while they are thankful for the government's recognition, she must clarify that they have not received any of the funds mentioned by the PSC -- though they were promised to them verbally.
"In fact, we have been trying to reimburse Alex's travel expenses for the Australian Open that happened last January, but we are being given a run around at the PSC," Maniego-Eala said on Facebook.
"There was and is also NO support in the form of a 'two-month training in Europe, US and other parts of the world'," she said. "The support mentioned in this post were promised verbally, in fact, several times but I reiterate, we have NOT received any of it."
The Eala family would be grateful to receive government support as Alex needs it to continue her training, but they stressed that none has been given by the PSC.
"It is very unfair to publicly state that we have received these amounts when it is not true," said Maniego-Eala.
"It is very unfair to say that we have received millions of pesos of support when we have NOT yet done so… Now, if it comes, then we would be very thankful and even publicly declare this… And if this is a writer’s error, then my request is that it be written in future tense," she added.
The PSC issued a correction on its post, saying it was "unintended misinformation."
"While there was an approved board resolution to this effect, it was later clarified that this is still being processed, awaiting required documents," the PSC said on its Facebook page. "We apologize to the public and the family of Ms. Eala for any misunderstanding this may have caused."
"The PSC stands by its commitment to support Ms. Eala on previously approved and future training activities and competition."
Eala, 15, lost to Jacquemot of France 6-3, 6-2 in the semifinal last Friday at Roland Garros.