Top coaches push for national tournament
Top Filipino tennis coaches here and abroad are pushing for a stronger national students championships, which they feel is vital for the sport’s grassroots development.
National coach Jovy Mamawal said national students championship must have high school and college divisions, which could supplement the existing NCAA and UAAP tournaments.
Right now collegiate leagues are confined to a few weeks in a semester, which is not enough for young talents who have been training for the rest of the year.
Joining Mamawal in the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) webinar were UAAP commissioner Andy Maglipon, former Philippine Davis Cupper Camoy Palahang, who is now coaching in Japan, and University of Hawaii mentor Jun Hernandez.
Maglipon bared that for next season, UAAP tennis will be compressed within two to two and half weeks and will be patterned after the Southeast Asian Games format.
Mamawal, who is also head coach of San Beda in NCAA, said they plan to hold an exhibition tournament for next season, which will include individual competitions. NCAA traditionally has competitions for teams only.
They all expressed support in helping the Philta create a structure for the national championship, which has recently been revived after being mothballed for more than 40 years.
Nio Tria of Colegio de San Agustin and Khim Iglupas ruled their respective categories when the tournament was revived last year.
Mamawal said Philta was in the process of staging the 2020 edition of the tournament but coronavirus pandemic struck.