Philippine sports advocate, Jean Henri Lhuillier, has reaffirmed his unwavering commitment to the development of tennis and softball in the country. As the current President of both the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL) and Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP), Lhuillier expressed his delight with the significant progress made by both organizations’ programs and eagerly anticipates their plans for the year. With his continued support, Lhuillier aims to enhance and promote these sports further, paving the way for more aspiring athletes to showcase their skills and talent on a national and global stage.
“I am very upbeat for this year, especially for our softball national teams as well as our top tennis players. There are lots of international tournaments lined up for them and I’m confident they will perform well and continue putting the Philippines in the softball and tennis maps,” said Lhuillier.
For several years, Lhuillier has been the primary benefactor of the RP Blu Boys and Blu Girls, who have brought home multiple gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games and consistently landed on the podium at the Asian Level. Additionally, Lhuillier has been instrumental in supporting prominent tennis players such as former world number 17, Treat Huey, doubles specialist currently ranked 136, Ruben Gonzales, and former Australian Juniors doubles champion, Francis Casey Alcantara, by personally financing their international competitions. His continued patronage has enabled these athletes to represent the Philippines with pride, achieve remarkable feats in their respective sports, and inspire the next generation of sports enthusiasts.
The RP Blu Girls are currently deep in training for the upcoming Women’s Softball Asia Cup to be held in South Korea from April 2-8. They are also expected to contend for a medal together with the Blu Boys in the Asian Games in September. Cebuana Lhuillier Sports Ambassadors Huey, Gonzales, and Alcantara are all currently representing the country’s colors in the ATP and ITF doubles competitions. All of them won several titles in ITF doubles tournaments in 2022 and all are just outside the elite world’s top 100 doubles players.
Lhuillier’s support extends beyond the elite athletes, as he also leads grassroots development through ASAPHIL and UTP. With the help of sponsors such as Cebuana Lhuillier, Palawan Pawnshop, UNILAB, Mr. Freeze, PhilCare, Navegar, DFNN, Madison Galeries, Asia Traders Corp, and Chris Sports, hundreds of age-group tennis competitions, open tournaments, and even club tournaments are organized to discover fresh talents in tennis. Moreover, ASAPHIL is excited to reinstate national competitions to continuously hone local talents in preparation for future international competitions. Lhuillier’s dedication to sports development ensures that promising athletes, regardless of their background, are given the opportunity to pursue their passion and achieve their full potential.
“I have high hopes for both Philippine softball and tennis as these are the two sports where I firmly believe Filipinos have what it takes to be the world’s best, and I vow to continue giving them my all-out support to make this a reality,” Lhuillier explained.