Jean Henri Lhuillier Raises Philippine Tennis and Softball to Greater Heights

Cebuana Lhuillier President and CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier has been a staunch patron of Philippine sports for more than 30 years. An avid sports enthusiast for most of his life, it was no surprise that Jean Henri insisted on the inclusion of sports development as one of Cebuana Lhuillier’s core advocacies.

As one of the Philippines’ most prominent and enduring sports benefactors, Jean Henri Lhuillier’s extensive contributions span multiple sports disciplines, he is most renowned however for his extraordinary commitment to grassroots sports development and his comprehensive support for the Philippines’ national men’s and women’s teams in tennis and in softball.

Passion for Tennis

Jean Henri’s Lhuillier’s involvement in national sports development began in 1998 with the staging of a series of Cebuana Lhuillier Men’s Tennis Open tournaments, since then, he has strived to constantly upgrade the quality of Philippine Tennis; take the sport to the masses to increase its exposure nationwide; and, develop players with talent. The Cebuana Lhuillier Age Group Tennis program, which has held an estimated 2000 tournaments nationwide throughout the years, has been the premier showcase for the discovery of future national team tennis players.

Jean Henri has also been a huge supporter of the national tennis teams and has been team manager multiple times for team Philippines in the Davis Cup and South East Asian Games. He has also supported the individual international campaigns of many top Filipino tennis players like Cecil Mamiit, Eric Tainio, Katharina Lehnert and Treat Huey in the past to present day tennis stars Ruben Gonzales and Francis Casey Alcantara.

For 7 years now, Jean Henri Lhuillier has served as the president of Unified Tennis Philippines (UTP) and has been responsible for supporting and developing top Filipino junior tennis players as they hone their skills by playing in the Asian junior tennis circuit and the WTA future Stars tournaments. Through the UTP, Jean Henri continues to support as many local junior and open tennis tournaments as possible to encourage more Filipinos to take up or enjoy watching the exciting sport of tennis.

A Heart for Softball
As the long-time President of the Amateur Softball Association of the Philippines (ASAPHIL), Jean Henri Lhuillier has been responsible for developing the sport of softball in the Philippines. Just like in tennis, Jean Henri mainly focused on initiating and/or supporting grassroots programs and competitions in softball across the Philippines. ASAPHIL conducts the biggest and most anticipated annual softball tournaments in the country including the Summer Grand Slam National Open, Batang Pinoy, Palarong Pambansa, and Philippine National Games among many others. ASAPHIL has also been actively conducting softball clinics for all softball stakeholders; players, coaches, and even tournament officials.

As the governing body for the sport of softball in the Philippines, ASAPHIL, under Jean Henri Lhuillier, is primarily responsible for all the needs and requirements of the Philippine National Softball teams who are more known as the RP Blu Boys and The RP Blu Girls.

With Jean Henri Lhuillier leading ASAPHIL, the national softball teams have performed extremely well in international competitions. The RP Blu Girls have won 7 straight SEA Games gold medals, bagged the silver medal in the 2017 Asian Women’s Softball Championship and placed in the top 4 at the same tournament 5 times. The Blu Girls have also won against world-ranked teams in World Cup competitions and were ranked as the #1 team in Asia prior to the pandemic. Currently, the RP Blu Girls are ranked #4 in Asia and #12 in the world. The RP Blu Boys have also done well in their international campaigns, winning 4 SEA games gold medals and 5 silver medals in the Asian Men’s Softball Championships and finished in the top 10 of the 2022 World Cup. The Blu Boys are currently ranked #4 in Asia and #10 in the world.

In 2023, Philippine Softball made a huge splash in the international arena by having no less than 4 National teams qualify for the World Cup. The RP Blu Boys secured the bronze in the 12th Men’s Softball Asia Cup to qualify for the Men’s Softball World Cup, the RP Blu Girls finished 4th at the 18th Women’s Softball Asia Cup to earn a World Cup berth, the Under-15 Girls team qualified for the WBSC World Cup for U-15 Women and the Co-Ed team qualified for the WBSC Co-Ed Slow Pitch Softball World Cup.

Jean Henri Lhuillier has done a lot to help and support Philippine tennis and Philippine softball but clearly believes that more can be done: “I’m just getting started. I’m incredibly optimistic about the future of Philippine softball and tennis. I firmly believe we have the potential to be world leaders in these sports, and I am committed to making this vision a reality.”

What do you think?

Written by Eric Magundayao


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