US NCAA coaches impressed by young PH tennis talents
MANILA, Philippines—Coaches from the US NCAA Division 1 schools took notice of the young athletes that took part in the DreamBig Gold Series Tennis Camp at Manila Polo Club earlier this month.
Rice University’s Ezequiel Gils, Cornell University’s Rob Raines, and Boston University’s Jesse Frieder were surprised by the Philippine tennis landscape after they watched the junior athletes take part in the camp that ran from Jan. 11 to 12.
The Division 1 coaches trained 20 players through extensive, hands-on training that US colleges use in their programs.
Of the 20 players that participated, 16-year-old Sebastien Lhuillier impressed the coaches them most but all the other athletes showed great potential.
Lhuillier is the son of former Olympian Bea Lucero.
“Talent is everywhere, I’ve seen a lot of players who can play at a really high level if they just commit to spending on the court and practicing,” said Raines said in a press release. “I can’t believe I’ve been missing out on the Philippines in terms of tennis.”
“It’s a place a lot of coaches are missing out on and it’s certainly a place that I’ll keep in mind as I’m recruiting,” added Raines.
Frieder, meanwhile, was impressed with how the student-athletes absorbed the lessons they gave and how well the players are easily coached.
“The players here are very coachable, which leads me to believe that if they end up in any of our teams, we could help them reach for the sky because they’re open to learning and improving,” said Frieder.
“Manila has the facilities, and the weather. You can work on having good fitness. This country surely has the possibility of having a champion someday,” said Gils.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.