DUE to a rather strange but unfortunate twist, the parents of French Open junior girls semifinalist Alex Eala, who became the toast of tennis in the country for her recent stint, said they will not accept any support from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and instead urged the agency to support other deserving tennis players.
That all started when after Eala made it all the way to the semifinals, the PSC posted a congratulatory message to the teen and added, among other things, how it allocated P3 million for its training. The PSC has been doing that for quite a while, and there’s nothing wrong with that as it shows how it is spending its money.
The problem is, while the parents of the tennis player and the PSC did meet to talk about financial support, the money which the PSC said it released, never reached the tennis player. The PSC corrected its post and said that it was still processing the financial aid.
But the damage has been done.
If this happened under any other PSC chairman, I would have gone with the conspiracy theory that someone else did get the money. But knowing Butch Ramirez and some of the members of the board, like former sports editor Charles Maxey, I believe that this was just miscommunication. Tennis in the country, at least before the pandemic, has two factions: the Philippine Tennis Association and Unified Tennis Philippines, which is backed by Cebuana Lhuillier and Palawan Pawnshop.
The PSC, in the past, has refused to get dragged into such political play and instead poured in its support directly to the athlete, bypassing the associations.
I hope Alex Eala and the PSC patch their differences because I believe one can help the other. Under Chairman Ramirez, the PSC’s support to national athletes have expanded, while some promising athletes got more. In the next two years as she tries to break into the pro ranks, I think the PSC can really be a huge help financially—minus the credit grabbing posts, of course.
On the other hand, Alex Eala, who is now with the Rafael Nadal academy in Spain, can also help the PSC by helping those who really deserve it join the elite academy. She blazed the trail. I hope someone else, with the financial backing of the PSC, can follow suit.
So, I really hope they patch things up and knowing Chairman Ramirez that would be a distinct possibility.