The Philippine national tennis team left Philippines on Thursday for Bangkok, Thailand to compete at the 2013 Southeast Asian Tennis Championship slated on November 22 to 27.
Heading the campaign are Davis Cup veterans Treat Conrad Huey and Ruben Gonzales, who will be joined by Johnny Arcilla and Patrick John Tierro for their campaign in the men’s division.
Seeing action in the women’s class are Filipino-German Katha¬rina Lehnert, Marian Jade Capa¬docia, Anna Clarice Patrimonio and Edilyn Balanga.
Tennis has not bee included in the Myanmar SEA Games this year, prompting the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand to stage the Southeast Asian Championships.
“The absence of tennis in the SEA Games forced the member countries to organize the tournament to give players the opportunity to dish out their skills,” said Commissioner and former tennis president Salvador Andrada.
The Philippine team will be up against premier players from 10 countries in the SEA region, excluding new member East Timor. Five gold medals—men/women singles, men/women doubles and team events—are up for grabs in the event sanctioned by the Asian Tennis Federation.
“Since tennis will not be played in Myanmar, it’s better for them to play in this tournament to harness their skills and gain additional experience in preparation for next year tournaments,” said Andrada.
“I feel sad because tennis couldn’t help in the medal campaign because the host country delisted the sport in the SEA Games,” added Andrada.
In the 2011 SEA Games tennis event, Indonesia won four golds, two silver and three bronzes followed by Thailand with two golds, three silvers and four bronzes, Philippines with one gold, two silver and three bronzes, Vietnam with three bronzes and Cambodia with one bronze.
Myanmar failed to win a single medal.
Huey and Denise Dy clinched the Philippines’ lone gold in the mixed-doubles category.