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I am yielding space to Michelle Manzo who delivered a very informative welcome remarks on behalf of the Dacudao clan in the recent 1st Dr. Elias P. Dacudao Memorial Cup at the Eco2 Tennis Club. A total of 127 young players took part in the event which was sanctioned by Philta and organized by the Davao Association of Tennis Clubs and Philippine Tennis Academy with the support of Head and Chris Sports.
“I’m Michelle Manzo, daughter of Teresita Dacudao Roque, 3rd child of Elias Dacudao. With us here today are my mother Teresita, my sisters Emily and Carol, my cousin Raymond Dakudao; and of course, my aunt Melanie Dacudao Chan and her husband, Rommie Chan, president of the Philippine Tennis Academy, and who helped make this tournament possible.
“In behalf of the Dacudao family, welcome to the 1st Dr. Elias Dacudao Memorial Cup!
“Our family is very happy and honored to have a tennis tournament held in honor of our father Elias Dacudao. We are even happier that the tournament is being held in our hometown, Davao.
“We consider Elias Dacudao as the Father of Davao Tennis. While he was a medical doctor and businessman by profession, his heart was really more into tennis and chess. As a result, he devoted much time and resources in developing tennis in Davao and in encouraging young deserving tennis players to excel in the sport by providing moral and financial support. It gave him much joy to hang out at the old Magallanes tennis courts, in the clubhouse he helped build. And his dream was to help improve the lives of young kids, especially those from Mindanao, by teaching them to play tennis, and in the process, inculcate in them the values of hard work, discipline and sportsmanship.
“We like to think that Elias Dacudao attained his dream. You may be too young to recognize the names, but he mentored a stable of tennis players that included the Valleramos brothers – Ben, Bernardo (or Jun) and Manuel. Manuel Valleramos went on to become the no. 1 player in the Philippines and a Southeast Asian Games gold medallist. Jun was likewise a nationally ranked tennis player, as well as a Philippine national tennis team coach. Another protégé was Danilo Pila, a Davis Cupper. My cousin Raymond was also a Davis Cupper, who received a college tennis scholarship in the US together with another protégé, Rodrigo Cabato, and my sister Teresa. My sisters, Teresa, Emily and Carol, were likewise former nationally ranked junior tennis players, who represented the country in many international tournaments.
Other protégés like Rene Abastillas and Melchor Sabandon became tennis coaches / trainers. These players, together with countless others, are just some of the people whose lives were touched by Elias Dacudao.
“Now, with this tournament, it is our family’s fervent wish that the legacy of Elias P. Dacudao will continue and that Mindanao, especially Davao, will again become a fertile breeding ground of nationally and internationally ranked tennis players.
“Thank you to the organizers and sponsors of this tournament and good luck to the participants!””
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Happy birthday to kuya Noel Albano and Davao Sportswriters Association president Charles Raymond A. Maxey (Nov. 3).