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POC thanks ITF, ATF for allowing PHL bets to play in Vietnam SEAG


THE Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) thanked the world and continenta­l governing bodies for tennis for allowing Filipino athletes to compete in the Vietnam 31st Southeast Asian Games despite the suspension of the Philippine Tennis Associatio­n (Philta).

“The POC is extending its gratitude to the ITF [Internatio­nal Tennis Federation] and ATF [Asian Tennis Federation] for allowing our players to see action in the SEA Games,” said POC President Rep. Abraham “Bambol” Tolentino, who was informed of the two bodies’ approval to let Filipino players compete in Hanoi over the weekend.

The ITF suspended the Philta for two years for its failure to elect members of its board who are truly representa­tive of the entire country.

The POC followed suit and also suspended the national sports associatio­n.

ATF Executive Director Manpreet Kandhari, according to Tolentino, relayed the confirmati­on which both the POC and Vietnamese organizers of the SEA Games received.

“In line with the IOC [Internatio­nal Olympic Committee] principle to preserve athletes’ participat­ion and not unduly punish them when sports institutio­ns are suspended, [the] ITF is in agreement with the ATF Board of Directors to support the inclusion of the players from the Philippine­s for the South [East] Asian Games, despite the current suspendion of the Philta,” Kandhari told organizers in Vietnam.

The country, through the POC, is fielding a nine-member team to the SEA Games. They are Jeson Patrombon, Francis Casey Alcantara, Reuben Gonzales, Treat Huey and Eric Olivarez Jr. in the men’s division and Alex Eala, Shaira Rivera, Jennayla Trulla and Marian Capadocia.

They will compete in the men’s and women’s singles, doubles and team events.

Alcantara and Patrombon beat the pair of Huey and Gonzales for a gold-silver finish in men’s doubles in the 2019 Games that the country hosted.

Patrombon and Alberto Lim Jr. accounted for the two bronze medals in men’s singles also in 2019. /

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