MAMIIT JOINING RP SQUAD?
Manila, April 26, 1999 - A Philippine Sports Commission official claims that Fil-American tennis player Cecil Mamiit is interested in representing the Philippines in international competitions, although the 22-year-old native of Eagle Rock, Los Angeles has yet to make a commitment.
PSC commissioner Monico Puentevella said Mamiit's decision will not be known until October.
"Cecil seems interested to play for the Philippines but there are some important things to be considered which he will have to discuss with his parents," said Puentevella, who personally met with Mamiit during the Salem Open early this month.
The 5-foot-8 player is currently No. 86 in the world rankings. He is the only child of Cesar Mamiit from Alaminos, Laguna and Felisa Valdeavilla of Sariaya, Quezon. He attended the Nick Bollettieri Sports Academy and was practice partner of Boris Becker, Petr Korda, Mary Pierce and Monica Seles.
Mamiit barged into the Top 100 after reaching the final of the $350,000 Sybase Open in San Jose, California last February. He is scheduled to compete in the French Open in May, Wimbledon in June and US Open in August. He will play in Shanghai and Beijing in October.
"Cecil said he's just taking off and he would like to join these Grand Slam tournaments to improve his ATP ranking. He also doesn't want to jeopardize the support he's getting as a member of the United States Tennis Academy," explained Puentevella.
Among the benefits Mamiit gets from the USTA are stipend, coaching, travel budget and wild cards from US events.
PSC chairman Butch Tuason is reportedly arranging for Mamiit to pay a courtesy call on President Joseph Estrada in Malacanang.
Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi
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