No less than the Office of the President has taken notice of the recent developments in tennis.
Presidential Sports Adviser Dennis Uy lauded the Unified Tennis Group for helping in the growth of the sport locally.
The UTG is a joint venture of the head honchos of two of the top pawnshop companies in the Philippines, Jean Henri Lhuillier of Cebuana Lhuillier and Bobby Castro of Palawan Pawnshop.
Lhuillier is the chief backer of the national tennis team.
Uy specifically commended Lhuillier, saying, “We need new leaders who has great vision, new ideas and has the passion. Jean Henri did not come overnight in Philippine tennis. In fact, he has strongly supported the sport for more than two decades now and has supported more than 500 various tennis events to improve tennis in the Philippines from the elite Davis cup team, to sponsoring our national athletes, international tennis tournaments, to junior tennis events, tennis coaching seminar, and various tennis clinics around the Philippines.”
Castro, on the other hand, spearheaded the Palawan Pawnshop-Palawan Express Pera Padala Regional Age Group Tournament series, which aims at finding the next local tennis stars.
The other major projects of the UTG are the Tennis on Wheels program of former top local tennis player Rod Rafael, which also aims at bolstering the grassroots scene, and the Philippine Tennis Tour by renowned coach Alex Marcial, a coaching clinic for upstart mentors. PNA