ITF gives Randy Villanueva blessing as acting president of Philippine Tennis Association
Randy Villanueva (second from left, standing) is the acting Philta president as per ITF recognition.

THE International Tennis Federation has recognized Philippine Tennis Association vice president Randy Villanueva as acting president, quickly averting a leadership crisis within the local federation.

Villanueva is assuming the unexpired term of Edwin Olivarez until 2018, by virtue of an email sent by ITF president David Haggerty last July 30, according to a press statement.

Olivarez, also the city mayor of Paranaque, has resigned from his post.

Until the ITF recognition came, Philta briefly faced a leadership crisis after former PSC commissioner Salvador ‘Buddy’ Andrada was elected by seven out of the 12 members of the board to return as president of the tennis association.

Villanueva, however, contented the Philta bylaws and constitution has become “outdated and flawed” as the organization only has 12 stockholders and 12 general members.

Haggerty practically gave recognition to Villanueva after the Filipino official emailed him a letter explaining the Philta situation. The ITF prexy replied by saying ‘congratulations on your assumption as president.’

Villanueva added Philta is welcoming new members as the organization “is run by only a handful of people all based in Metro Manila and who don’t represent the entire tennis population.”

“We want the association to be more hardworking and more responsive to a broader population,” said Villanueva, who added the goal is to have 100,000 members within Philta.

Villanueva also plans to have a massive database of players and coaches.

He is also looking to gather regional representatives as well as school sports like the UAAP and NCAA for a summit as soon as possible. Villanueva said Philta will seek the guidance of the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC).

Philta chairman Jean Henri Lhuillier is supporting the call for change, according to the same press statement.

Lhuiller is the part owner of the Philippine Mavericks in the International Tennis Premier League (IPTL), team sponsor and manager of the Davis Cup teams, and title sponsor of the PCA Open.

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