Jean Henri Lhuillier.
Entrepreneur. Sportsman. Father.
Know more about the man who runs the country’s best and most-preferred microfinancial and business-to-business financial solutions provider.
Statement of Jean Henri Lhuillier on the PHILTA Snap Elections
February 9, 2017
I came to the Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA) elections today with a great hope of having a unified association. In a meeting between the International Tennis Federation (ITF) president, PHILTA Board and the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) last October 2016, Col. (ret.) Salvador Andrada agreed to step down January of 2017 which he recommitted in the board meeting last December 14. It was on the same day I signified my intention to run for the PHILTA presidency with the vision of making PHILTA a world-class association that will be more inclusive, and will produce world-class tennis players. So it was highly irregular for Col. Andrada to back-track on his announcement to step-down from the presidency. I would like to reiterate the highly questionable nature of col. Andrada’s assumption of The PHILTA presidency:
- When former President Edwin Olivares relinquished the PHILTA Presidency as a requisite of taking public office, the proper line of succession should have installed the then Vice President Randy Villanueva.
- Instead, a snap election was conducted contrary to association rules.
- This snap election was held without observing the prescribed duration of time & prior notice.
These circumstances were actually violative of PHILTA by-laws and renders col. Andrada’s PHILTA presidency invalid and illegitimate. It is precisely for these reasons that the new elections for PHILTA President was slated-through the mediation of the POC & ITF. The POC has in fact been notified that the elections are to be held for the PHILTA presidency.
Because of the foregoing, we have decided not to participate in today’s PHILTA elections which actually covers only the Vice Presidential post and lower positions.
My group is keeping our options open and we’ll take it day by day but for sure, I will continue to support tennis in the Philippines as it is my passion.
Lhuillier attends YPO Innovation Network Dinner
November 23, 2016
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier met with his fellow CEOs at the YPO Innovation Network Dinner in Hong Kong recently. The Young Presidents Organization (YPO) is a global network of young chief executives with approximately 22,000 members in 125 countries.
Lhuillier meets Ken Nishikori
September 15, 2016
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier with Japanese tennis superstar and world’s top 5 player Ken Nishikori.
Words from the CEO: Commitment to Serve
August 5, 2016
Lhuillier donates softball rule book to clubs nationwide
Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines President, Jean Henri Lhuillier, donated copies of the International Softball Federation rule book to different teams and clubs in the Philippines. This was done as part of efforts to improve their knowledge in the sport.
Lhuillier and Tabotabo wins NTRP Men’s 4.5 doubles championship
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier and tennis partner Titus Tabotabo were hailed as NTRP Men’s 4.5 doubles champions at the Lafayette Tennis Club, Northern California, July 15 to 17.
Lhuillier and Arcilla wins championship in 2016 Alpine Hills Senior Sectional Tournament
Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier and former national player Johnny Arcilla emerged as doubles champions of the 2016 Alpine Hills Senior Sectional Tournament.
Lhuillier and Arcilla wins 36th Annual 2016 Incline Open
Jean Henri Lhuillier and Johnny Arcilla (left) bagged the Men’s Doubles championship at the 36th Annual 2016 Incline Open in Lake Tahoe, USA. They defeated the duo of Vince Tabotabo and Titus Tabotabo (right).
Words from the CEO: Disaster Resilience
July 8, 2016
RP Davis Cuppers eyes revenge against Chinese-Taipei
June 29, 2016
The Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup Team are eyeing to exact revenge versus their 2015 tormentors Chinese Taipei with the homecourt advantage this time. They are set to face each other on July 15-17 at the Philippine Columbian Association. The team will be composed by the same team that blanked Kuwait 5-0 last March and will be bannered by no less than one of the world’s top doubles players Treat Huey. Also back for another call of duty for the country are world-ranked doubles player, Ruben Gonzales, former world juniors number nine Jeson Patrombon and 2009 Australian Open Juniors Doubles Champion Francis Casey Alcantara. Also back as non-playing team captain is multi-titled college coach Karl Sta. Maria.
“I am so excited for this match with Chinese Taipei. I’m confident we will do better this time as our players have been training and competing internationally the past months. Chinese Taipei may have the higher ranked players but I believe we have a solid team where all players can both play singles and doubles. I also think that the homecourt advantage will work to our players’ favour this time. said PHILTA Chairman of the Board and Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO, Jean Henri Lhuillier.”
The members of the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup Team have been busy preparing for the match by playing in international competitions and have actually done well. Huey is currently playing in the Wimbledon Open after reaching the quarterfinals of the AEGON Open Nottingham Men’s Doubles. Gonzales on the other hand is riding on the crest of a finals and semifinals doubles appearances of Futures tournaments in Netherlands and France. Patrombon reached the singles quarterfinals of an ITF Futures in Hong Kong and will be ready to take on the cudgels of being the number one singles netter of the country. Alcantara made a semifinals and quarterfinals finish in 2 tough ITF tournaments in Hong Kong.
“Our players are battle-ready. Their performances in the past weeks are very encouraging and I’m confident they’ll carry it through the match with Taipei. This is our best chance to move back to Asia-Oceania Group next year and a victory here will put us one step away from doing that, added Lhuillier.”
Philippines and Chinese-Taipei have played seven times in Davis Cup with Philippines winning the first four matches but dropped the last three ties. Winner of this match will face the winner of the Thailand-Vietnam tiff for the right to move to Group 1 of Asia-Oceania group next year.
Lhuillier with the RP Blu Girls
June 7, 2016
ASAPHIL President Jean Henri Lhuillier and his sons, Sebastien Lhuillier and Stephan Lhuillier, poses with the RP Blu Girls who are gearing up for the upcoming WBSC XV Women’s World Softball Championship and World Cup of Softball XI this coming July. Twelve countries are expected to participate, the World Cup of Softball XI features No. 1 Japan, No. 2 USA, No. 3 Australia, No. 4 Canada, No. 6 China, No. 7 Netherlands, No. 8 New Zealand and No. 10 Czech Republic.
Throwback Thursday: Buddy Shots
May 26, 2016
A throw back to 16 years ago, when budding entrepreneurs Jean Henri Lhuillier, then Bukidnon Representative now Senator Migs Zubiri, and Archie Rodriguez, established one of the most popular watering holes in the day – Tequila Joe’s.
Aside from financing, Lhuillier also dabbled in the food business as a Director and Chairman of the Board of Global Restaurant Concepts, Inc, the Philippine franchise holder of California Pizza Kitchen, P.F. Chang’s, Ihop Restaurant, Morelli’s Gelato, Gyu-Kaku, and Applebee’s.
Lhuillier recognizes Millennials in the workforce
May 25, 2016
In this picture(from left to right, front row): Dr. Merlyn Paulmitan, College Secretary of the College of Computer Science of the University of Makati, Jean Henri Lhuillier, President and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier, Dr. Danilo Sabado, Dean of the College of Computer Science of the University of Makati, and college faculty members.
Jean Henri Lhuillier, President and CEO of Cebuana Lhuillier and the main proponent behind the DepEd-Cebuana Lhuillier Alternative Learning System addressed some 600 graduates at the University of Makati during the institution’s 43rd Commencement Ceremonies. Recognizing the power of millennials in today’s workforce, Lhuillier discussed the generation’s contribution to society and stated that there is no single path to success. “What guarantees your success is if you are willing to go beyond what is required of you to reach your goals; and most importantly, if you love your job. Although skills and talent go hand in hand with a positive attitude towards work, hard work beats talent when talent isn’t working hard,” he said. Lhuillier, who has been supporting UMAK’s annual IT Olympics, also stressed the importance of social media and how companies, including his own, are harnessing it to promote engagement.
Cebuana Lhuillier donates building to Tacloban school
April 10, 2016
This school year, more than 800 students in Tacloban City will welcome the start of classes with a new and improved school building courtesy of Cebuana Lhuillier, the country’s leading microfinancial solutions provider.
As part of its corporate social responsibility advocacy for education, Cebuana Lhuillier donated a two-storey, six-classroom, school building to the Northern Tacloban City National High School through the initiative of Cebuana Lhuillier’s President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier and through the efforts of its corporate social responsibility arm—the Cebuana Lhuillier Foundation, Inc..
Four of the classrooms will host regular high school classes while one room will be dedicated to Cebuana Lhuillier’s Alternative Learning System Community Learning Center (ALS CLC) which provides educational opportunities to out-of-school youth and adult learners. The remaining room will be used as an activity area for the Five Empowering Fields of Knowledge namely Livelihood, Financial Literacy, Disaster Resiliency, Sports Development, and Information and Communication Technology Competitiveness.
“This specific project is deeply rooted on our goal of empowering our youth, giving them hope, honing their true potential, and investing in their future. Through this donation, we hope to provide not just affordable and quality education to hundreds of deserving Yolanda-survivor children but also to provide good school facilities and spark new interest in sports among them,” Lhuillier said.
The six classrooms will be donated equipped with appointments including new arm chairs, teacher’s tables with chairs, stacking cabinets, standing bookshelves, a desktop computer, a medicine cabinet, a first aid kit, a movable whiteboard, and disaster preparedness kits, among others.
Aside from addressing the shortage of quality classrooms and education opportunities in Tacloban City, Cebuana Lhuillier is also pushing sports, specifically tennis, to the youth by integrating a special module of Sports Development to Cebuana Lhuillier’s ALS CLCs. The donated classrooms are named after the six international tennis players of the International Premiere Tennis League team Philippine Mavericks (formerly Manila Mavericks)—Tsonga, Flipkens, Nestor, Moya, Huey, and Philippoussis—which Lhuillier manages and co-owns.
Alden Richards is Now a Ka-Cebuana
March 13, 2016
Alden Richards, one half of the phenomenal AlDub love team, is now officially the latest Cebuana Lhuillier brand ambassador. The actor, TV host, and singer recently signed a contract with the country’s leading microfinancial solutions provider.
Richards has long been a loyal client of Cebuana Lhuillier, even before the AlDub phenomenon. According to him and as confirmed by the company’s records, he has been availing of Cebuana Lhuillier’s Pera Padala service since 2011.
“We are more than happy to formally welcome Alden Richards to the Cebuana Lhuillier family. We’ve always believed that the best persons to promote our services are those who have actually availed and experienced the services and products we offer, those who are truly Ka-Cebuanas themselves, and Alden Richards suits the description perfectly,” Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier said.
“I am so happy to be part of the Cebuana Lhuillier family because it is a brand that has positively impacted the lives of many Filipinos including mine and my family’s,” said Alden Richards.
Richards is set to star in Cebuana Lhuillier’s newest TV commercials, which will be released this summer.
Consulate General of San Marino Produces Book for Orphans
February 25, 2016
Jean Henri Lhuillier, Consul General of the Republic of San Marino to the Philippines, and Anna Maria Delfin, General Manager of The Bookmark, Inc., with a copy of the book ‘Yehey, May Pamilya na Ring Mag-aaruga sa Akin!’.
The Consulate General of San Marino in the Philippines, in partnership with The Bookmark, Inc., has produced a book that will help orphans and adoptive parents prepare for the adoption process. On February 5, 2016 the two companies inked a memorandum of agreement that made official the publication and distribution of the book called ‘Yehey, May Pamilya na Ring Mag-aaruga sa Akin!’. Spearheading the project is Jean Henri Lhuillier, Consul General of San Marino to the Philippines.
“The consulate has always been involved in projects that benefit the less fortunate, especially the children. We have assisted in the adoption of many orphans who are now happily living with their respective families in San Marino. We came up with this book to make the process even better, by setting the right expectations of the children, as well as those of the adoptive family. We want all parties to be as prepared as possible and this book will help,” said Lhuillier.
The story book, written by Genaro Gojo Cruz and illustrated by Aaron Asis, features the story of a puppy in a rescue home. It was officially launched last February 24 at the Manila Polo Club and will be available nationwide for P130.
To make sure the book serves its purpose, the San Marino Consulate General gave out free copies through the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Inter-Country Adoption Board, Museo Pambata, the Child Psychiatry Deparmentt of Medical City, and selected Alternative Learning System Centers.
Like the Consulate General of San Marino, The Bookmark, Inc. is also active in corporate social responsibility projects, providing support for organizations such as WWF (World Wildlife Fund) and UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund).
Patrombon, Gonzales give PH 2-0 Davis Cup edge
February 23, 2016
Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team swept the opening singles against Kuwait after an emphatic win by Jeson Patrombon and a shocking, dramatic victory by Ruben Gonzales Friday night at Valle Verde Country Club.
Patrombon cruised to a 6-0, 6-2, 6-1 win over No. 2 player Abdulrahman Alawadhi to give the country a morale-boosting start in the tie. It all appeared that the Filipinos would end Day 1 with an easy sweep of the rubbers, until Kuwait’s 35-year-old top player Mohammad Ghareeb tried to make a fight and came back from two sets down.
But the visitor’s top gun cramped and gave up with the fifth set tied at 5-5 for Gonzales’ 7-6 (7-2), 6-2, 1-6, 6-7 (8-6), 5-5 retired after a roller-coaster match that lasted four hours.
Treat Huey and Francis Casey Alcantara will try to clinch the Asia/Oceania Group 1 tie in Saturday’s doubles against Ghareeb and Abdulhamin Mubarak at 6 p.m.
Team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier said Patrombon just showed that he deserves his place in the team.
“It is their time (Patrombon and Francis Casey Alcantara), it’s changing of the guards and they have to accept the task ahead,” said Lhuillier who is supporting the PH campaign along with Cebuana Lhuillier, Philippine Sports Commission and Yonex.
Gonzales trailed 4-1 in the fifth set when it all appeared that he lost it all. But the long day tolled on Ghareeb who hugged his coach at the sidelines and declared he could no longer go on.
Gonzales stormed to two sets to none lead in the second singles, but inexplicably lost traction allowing Ghareeb to come back into the game winning third easily after an early break.
The fourth set was on serve but saw the Kuwaiti getting stronger and stronger, acing his way to force the tiebreak.
The 30-year-old Gonzales trailed 3-6 in the tiebreak but gained back the momentum when he lobbed an winner and Ghareeb dumped twice, one wide and one to the net.
But things suddenly shifted when Gonzales hit an outbalanced overhead shot that fell short, before the 35-year-old warrior, who once lost a tight 7-6, 6-4 decision to Roger Federer, aced to forge the deciding fifth set.
Though he admitted feeling the jitters in the first points of the first set, Patrombon hardly showed it as he overwhelmed Abdulrahman Alawadhi to give the country a morale-boosting start.
“I felt that it’s not yet my top game, only 60 percent probably,” said the 22-year-old Patrombon in Filipino after the one hour, 30 minutes match that saw him setting the tone of the match with power and smarts.
Patrombon, who has been training in Chinese Taipei and just came from ITF Futures in China, wasn’t threatened in the match, facing break point only thrice: once in the first set, and twice in the second when he was way ahead in games.
“I saw that he’s not very comfortable with rallies so I was holding my attacks longer,” said Patrombon who indeed engaged Alawadhi in lengthy exchanges before exploding with crosscourt winners.
The Iligan-based Patrombon, former World juniors No. 9, also didn’t waste shots, tracking down the ball as though he’s trailing and firing highly charged forehands against an otherwise strong opponent.
“He is strong and I was expecting him to go all out,” added Patrombon who has won his fourth Davis Cup victory in three ties.
Still Lhuillier said it’s not over yet. “We have seen it a few times that we take 2-0 lead to lose, but Jeson’s win today set the tone for the Philippines.”
Lhuillier confident of Filipino Davis Cuppers’ chances
February 23, 2016
Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier expressed confidence with the chances of the new team facing Kuwait on March 4-6 at Valle Verde Country Club.
“I think we have assembled the strongest team in recent years. It’s a great combination of experience and youth. All of them have been campaigning actively and have been producing great results in recent international competitions the past months. All players can both play singles and doubles which will make it hard for our opponent to prepare for us. I strongly believe we will emerge victorious in this upcoming match versus Kuwait.” said Lhuillier.
Lhuillier has very good reasons for his optimism. The team is laden with so much talent composed of world number 35 doubles player Treat Huey, 2009 Australian Open Juniors doubles champion Francis Casey Alcantara, former world number 9 juniors player Jeson Patrombon and the highly dependable veteran Ruben Gonzales.
Huey is having a good start this year highlighted by his quarterfinals run in the Australian Open. Alcantara went on a giant-killing run making it to the finals of the doubles of the ATP Challenger held in Manila last month.
Patrombon has gained valuable experience playing in several ITF Futures in Asia starting last year while Gonzales has been consistently producing good results in doubles while campaigning in US and Europe.
The team has also named a new non-playing captain in Karl Sta. Maria, a veteran coach in collegiate wars in the country, as part of its quest to break back into the elite Group 1 of the tough Asia/Oceania division.
PJ Lhuillier, exec honored at Stevies
February 15, 2016
PJ Lhuillier Inc., the country’s leading microfinance institution, offering pawning, remittance, microinsurance, loans and bills payment, among other financial services through its core brand, Cebuana Lhuillier, was recently honored as the first and only Filipino company to be bestowed the prestigious Grand Stevie Award at the reputable International Business Awards (also known as ‘The Stevies’).
Aside from this, the company and president and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier also garnered five gold, five silver and two bronze awards.
“PJ Lhuillier Inc. should feel very honored to receive the Grand Stevie Award this year. It is one of the highest honors in The International Business Awards. As the first company based in the Philippines to receive a Grand Stevie Award, their accomplishments amazed the judges. From providing financial literacy services to Filipinos to expanding to over 1,800 branches nationwide, the Stevie Awards is proud to give PJ Lhuillier this award,” said Michael Gallagher, president and Founder of the Stevie Awards.
Meanwhile, Lhuillier expressed pride and appreciation for the company’s accomplishments. “We at PJ Lhuillier carry out our business with the ultimate aim of achieving financial inclusion, and citations such as this help us assess whether or not we are on the right track. We always strive to be better than ever and we will not stop challenging ourselves at PJ Lhuillier. We appreciate the nod from the International Business Awards and we can only hope that they will continue to recognize our work in the future,” he added.
PJ Lhuillier Inc was recognized in five different categories; Gold for Company of the Year — Financial Services, Gold for Company of the Year — Insurance, Gold for Company of the Year — Diversified Services, Silver for Company of the Year — Conglomerates, and Silver for Corporate Social Responsibility Program of the Year — Asia, Australia and New Zealand.
On the other hand, Lhuillier bested other nominees in seven categories; Gold for Executive of the Year — Diversified Services, Gold for Executive of the Year — Financial Services, Silver for Maverick of the Year, Silver for Chairman of the Year, Silver for Executive of the Year — Conglomerates, Bronze for Innovator of the Year, and Bronze for Executive of the Year — Insurance.
PJ Lhuillier Inc. and Jean Henri Lhuillier were given multiple recognitions for the excellent business performance of the company in the past year.
Some of the milestones include Cebuana Lhuillier reaching over 1,800 branches in the Philippines, opening its first branch in Hong Kong, and establishing a marketing office in Dubai.
The past year also saw the brand introduce microinsurance products for the working class, benefiting construction workers, barangay tanods, security guards and employees, among others.
To expand reach and cater to more clients, the company gained more corporate partners including Enjaz Banking Services, the biggest remittance center in Saudia Arabia, and local airlines Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, and Philippine Airlines, to name a few. With over 60 partners worldwide, Cebuana Lhuillier is now able to extend its services to clients in different international territories.
Lhuillier sees great promise in PH tennis
February 4, 2016
From left to right: Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier; Singles Champion Mikhail Youzhny of Russia; Swiss netter Marco Chiudinelli;Philippine Ambassador to Portugal, Philippe Lhuillier; Philta Vice Preisdent Randy Villanueva; Cebuana Lhuillier mascot Ninong Ceb.
From left to right: (Philta) Vice President Randy Villanueva; Doubles runner ups Christopher Rungkat and Filipino partner Francis Casey Alcantara; Doubles champions Johan Brunstrom and Frederik Nielsen; Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier; former Philta President Julito Villanueva.
Philippine Tennis got another shot in the arm when the country hosted the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour last month.
“Hosting the ATP Challenger was an opportunity that was too good to pass so I did everything possible to make it happen,” said Philippine Tennis Association Chairman Jean Henri Lhuillier.
“It’s definitely a big boost to Philippine tennis as it provided our players the opportunity to pit their skills against world-class players and see where they stand against the world’s best,” Lhuillier added.
Filipino Francis Casey Alcantara and Indonesian Christopher Rungkat finished second in the men’s doubles of the ATP Challenger Tour after they lost to Johan Brunstrom of Sweden and Frederik Nielsen of Denmark in the finals.
“Alcantara’s finals run in the doubles shows that our players have what it takes to become world-beaters if given the right opportunities,” said Lhuillier.
Filipino ATP wildcard contenders reigning Philippine Columbian Association Open champion Alberto Lim Jr., former Australian Open juniors singles quarterfinalist Jeson Patrombon, and Davis Cup veteran Filipino-American Ruben Gonzales faltered in their respective first-round matches in singles.
“[We want them to] move back to Asia-Oceania Group 1 of the Davis Cup where I strongly believe we belong,” said Lhuillier who happens to be the team manager of the Philippine Davis Cup Team.
The Philippines is currently in Group II of Davis Cup Asia-Oceania.
They will face Kuwait in the first round of the tie on March 4 to 6 at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City.
To popularize the sport, Lhuillier aims to improve the skills and rankings of Filipino netters.
“Continue improving the skills and rankings of our players as well as popularizing the sport among Filipinos and that’s the reason why I have been actively supporting big international tennis events such as IPTL thru Philippine Mavericks which I co-owned and managed, the recent ATP Challenger and International Tennis Federation Men’s Futures which I and my company Cebuana Lhuillier supported,” he stressed.
He wants to see Gonzales, Alcantara, Treat Huey, and Katharina Lehnert in international competitions and improve their rankings.
Lhuillier also underscored the need for a steady grassroots development program through the staging of age-group tournaments in different parts of the country.
“More than a sports avenue, Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group tennis also advocates the total human formation of young tennis players by helping them reach their tennis career dreams, be it to go professional or use it as a platform for University schooling. We aim to hone these talents to not just be champions in sports but also be champions in real life,” Lhuiller referring to his company’s Cebuana Lhuillier age group tilt.
JEAN RUSSEL V. DAVID
Vasselin named Philippine Mavericks MVP
December 28, 2015
MANILA, Philippines – Edouard Roger Vasselin was named the Philippine Mavericks’ MVP for the IPTL (International Premier Tennis League) second season by team manager and co-owner Jean Henri Lhuillier who cited the 32-year-old French veteran the other day for playing in all five legs.
The Mavs led the league in most players deployed with 11 this season. Vasselin joined icon Serena Williams, Category A Milos Raonic, Category B Richard Gasquet, Category C Ivo Karlovic and Ajla Tomljanovic, Category D Jarmila Gajdosova, uncategorized Somdev Devvarman, doubles player Treat Huey and legends Mark Philippoussis and James Blake in the rotation.
Second season champion Singapore and dethroned titlist India were bannered by 10 players each while the Japan Warriors brought in eight and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), seven. Icons Kei Nishikori and Maria Sharapova of Japan, Roger Federer of UAE and Andy Murray of Singapore saw action in only one leg. Category A Stan Wawrinka of Singapore and Category B Gaels Monfils of India also played in one leg.
Federer performed in two of three matches in the Dubai leg. The former World No. 1 (now No. 3) Swiss was a disappointment as he lost in all his sets. Against the Philippines, he teamed with Marin Cilic to lose to Vasselin and Huey, 6-4 and against Singapore, he and Cilic bowed to Andy Murray and Marcelo Melo, 6-5. In singles, Federer was beaten by the Mavericks’ Karlovic, 6-4, and the Slammers’ Murray, 6-4. UAE lost to the Philippines, 26-24 and Singapore, 27-24 in the only ties where Federer played. He sat out the Royals’ third tie against Japan in Dubai.
Lhuillier said the Mavericks were hampered when Williams, Raonic and Gasquet withdrew after the first two legs in Kobe and Manila. That led to a disastrous showing in the third leg in New Delhi where the Philippines was trounced by the Aces, 30-12 and the Slammers, 30-22. Vasselin tried to hold the fort but couldn’t break into the win column as he lost to India’s Rafael Nadal, 6-4, and Singapore’s Nick Kyrgios, 6-5. In men’s doubles, Huey and Vasselin were defeated by India’s Nadal and Rohan Bopanna, 6-4 and Singapore’s Kyrgios and Melo, 6-5.
Lhuillier recruited Karlovic and Blake for the Dubai and Singapore legs to avert a tailspin to the bottom of the ladder. Vasselin, however, remained a mainstay on the court, playing mixed and men’s doubles in Dubai and Singapore and also singles against the Slammers’ Cilic. In the Kobe leg, he teamed with Gasquet to beat the Warriors’ Leander Paes and Pierre Hugues Herbert, 6-5 and the Slammers’ Dustin Brown and Melo, 6-4. In Manila, Vasselin and Gasquet tripped the Royals’ Tomas Berdych and Daniel Nestor, 6-3. In Dubai, Vasselin and Gajdosova defeated the Royals’ Nestor and Kristina Mladenovic, 6-5 and he and Huey drubbed the Royals’ Federer and Cilic, 6-5. In Singapore, he and Huey beat Japan’s Paes and Herbert, 6-5 and the Royals’ Cilic and Nestor, 6-4. Vasselin’s overall tally in individual set results through five legs was seven wins and 11 losses.
“I think Edouard was our MVP,” said Lhuillier. “He was with us in all five legs and played competitively in every set he played in mixed doubles, men’s doubles and singles. We leaned on Edouard when Milos and Richard left with back problems. And even when we brought in Ivo, we continued to play Edouard.”
Karlovic sat out the regular five sets in the Mavericks’ final tie against the Royals in Singapore then was called in to play Cilic in the super shootout to settle the outcome. The Philippines and UAE battled to a 23-all standoff after five sets. Karlovic edged Cilic, 10-9, in the super shootout as the Philippines ended the season on a winning note with a 24-23 squeaker over UAE.
“We won’t know which players will join us for the third season next year until after the draft in March,” said Lhuillier. “(IPTL founder) Mahesh (Bhupathi) will inform us which players are available during the draft. But I’d like Ivo to come back. He played well for us. In Dubai, Ivo upset Federer, 6-4. He’s got a booming serve and I think he’ll be a positive force for us in doubles play and could be a strong back-up in singles next season. Ivo will give us depth.”
Karlovic, 36, played for the Mavericks only in the last two legs in Dubai and Singapore. The 6-11 Croatian veteran’s serve was once timed at 251 kilometers per hour, a world record until overtaken by Australian Sam Groth’s 263 posted in 2012. Karlovic was ranked World No. 14 in 2008 and is now World No. 23 with career earnings of over $6.8 Million and six singles titles. In 2009, he made it to the quarterfinals at Wimbledon.
Lhuillier said his choice as the IPTL second season MVP is Kyrgios. “Like Edoaurd, Kyrgios was the most consistent player on his team,” he said. Singapore won the championship by beating India in the final although the Slammers were second at the end of the eliminations. Against the Philippines, Kyrgios was unbeaten, repulsing Raonic, 6-4, in Kobe and Vasselin, 6-5, in New Delhi. Kyrgios, a Category C player, is ranked World No. 30. His mother Norlaila is Malaysian and father Giorgos is Greek. Kyrgios was born in Canberra and plays as an Australian.
Because the second season had five teams, IPTL organizers scheduled one franchise, UAE, in 12 matches and the others, 11. To even out the results, the Royals were allowed to scratch one match and they chose their 29-18 loss to the Mavericks in Manila. The Philippines, however, retained the points in the match. The Mavericks finished the season with a 6-5 record in matches and a win-loss rate of 48.1 percent for fourth place. The Royals had a 5-6 record in matches but took third place with a win-loss rate of 50 percent on 264 games won and lost.
JOAQUIN HENSON(THE PHILIPPINE STAR)
Lhuillier pins hopes on big win over Japan
December 18, 2015
MANILA, Philippines – For Philippine Mavericks co-owner and team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier, the key to making it to the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL) final lies in maximizing games won and minimizing games lost against Japan today and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tomorrow in Singapore.
Lhuillier will sit on the Mavericks bench in the team’s last two ties. The Philippines got a break in the India match in Dubai last Tuesday when the Aces’ legend Fabrice Santoro called in sick and couldn’t bring in a replacement. India’s doubles specialist Rohan Bopanna, 35, played in Santoro’s place but his 6-0 win over the Mavericks’ James Blake was reversed. Bopanna wasn’t cleared by the IPTL to play as a legend since he’s still active in the pro circuit. The reversal turned what would’ve been a 30-17 win for India into a 24-23 squeaker.
At the moment, the Mavericks are in fourth place in the five-team standings with 214 games won and 221 lost for a winning rate of 49.2 percent. India remains on top with 257 games won and 209 lost for 55.2 percent while Singapore, buoyed by the arrival of icon Andy Murray, is second with 228 games won and 207 lost for 52.4 percent. UAE is third with 214 games won and 217 lost for 49.7 percent. In last place is Japan, the newest franchise, with 211 games won and 259 lost for 44.9 percent.
Assuming the Philippines sweeps the Warriors and Royals without dropping a single game, the Mavericks will end up with 274 games won and 221 lost for 55.3 percent. Singapore has two matches left like the Philippines as the Slammers face UAE today and India tomorrow. The Mavericks’ hopes will also depend on how the Slammers fare against the Royals and Aces. From all indications, India is a cinch for one of two final berths with one tie remaining against Singapore. Spanish icon Rafael Nadal won’t return for the Aces in the last leg and Santoro is a doubtful participant but India may have enough cushion to advance to the final. Santoro may be available for the final on Sunday or the Aces could bring in a legend replacement.
Singapore has won its last four matches against the Philippines, Japan, UAE and India in that order to boost the Slammers’ chances to booking a final ticket. Murray’s arrival made a huge impact in Dubai. In the 27-16 win over India last Wednesday, Murray teamed with Marcelo Melo to thwart Ivan Dodig and Bernard Tomic, 6-4. And in the 27-24 decision over UAE the day before, Murray beat Roger Federer, 6-4, and combined with Melo to edge Federer and Marin Cilic, 6-5. World No. 4 Stan Wawrinka of Switzerland will take over from Murray for Singapore in the Slammers’ last two matches.
For the Mavericks, the goal is to swamp the Warriors and Royals. World No. 8 Kei Nishikori and World No. 4 Maria Sharapova have played only one tie for Japan and that was in Kobe. Without the two stars, the Warriors have relied on Philip Kohlschrieber, Pierre Hugues Herbert, Leander Paes, Thomas Enqvist, Mirjana Lucic-Baroni and newly-signed Kirsten Flipkens to stay alive. Federer played only against Singapore and sat out the tie against Japan in Dubai. It’s not certain if Federer will play in Singapore.
Slammers’ star Nick Kyrgios said Singapore’s mindset is to stay in second place. “Stan (Wawrinka) is going to be the main guy for our team in Singapore,” he said. “Stan’s a terrific player and we are going to do everything to put a solid performance together. I think it’s not so much catching the Aces anymore, it’s more solidifying our position into a strong second place to get to the final.”
Lhuillier said the tie against Japan could determine the Mavericks’ fate. “Our first match is key against the Warriors,” he said. “We need all of the players to have big games. We need to start hot from the first game to gain confidence and momentum.”
Lhuillier said legend and playing coach Mark Philippoussis may be reactivated to see action against Japan. Philippoussis played for the Philippines in the first three legs but sat out the Dubai matches with knee issues. Lhuillier brought in Blake as Philippoussis’ replacement.