ALL’S well that ends well as far as Philippine Table Tennis Federation, Inc. is concerned.
PTTFI president Ting Ledesma lauded the efforts of Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), headed by Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez, to reach out to PTTFI and other national sports associations and thresh out their differences with the 2019 Southeast Asian Games coming soon.
“Better days in table tennis are surely coming. PSC Chairman Ramirez and I had a very cordial and lively meeting at the PSC office last Wednesday,” said Ledesma during his appearance at the weekly “Usapang Sports” presented by the Tabloid Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) at the National Press Club Bldg. in Intramuros, Manila yesterday.
“We share the same observation that table tennis is one sport which can deliver the medals in the coming SEA Games, which we are hosting next year,” added Ledesma, a former national player himself before becoming the PTTFI president.
Ledesma also told sportswriters that the PSC, thru Chairman Ramirez, has agreed to shoulder the expenses for top Korean coach Kwon Mi Sook, who is serving as coach of the national team since 2015.
Kwon is the same Korean coach credited for honing the skills of Rio de Janeiro Olympian Ian Larriba, who passed away due to acute myeloid leukemia only last Sept. 2.
Since 2015, Ledesma was paying for the expenses of Kwon from his own pocket “because we have to take advantage to get the services of such talented Korean table tennis star.”
Ledesma said Kwon was also responsible for the donation of equipment from the Korea Table Tennis Association as well as financial assistance to Larriba.
The issue of unliquidated financial assistance given by the PSC to the previous table tennis association was also brushed aside by Ledesma.
“In the first place, the PTTF cannot liquidate something we did not receive. The past table tennis group should be the one to answer questions about the unliquidated financial assistance given to them by the PSC,” added Ledesma.
Ledesma, however, left the door of reconciliation open to all groups which share the same passion of table tennis development in the country.
“ I know I can lead PTTFI well because I have no vested interest in it and I have no business dealing with table tennis to protect,” claimed Ledesma, who sent athletes in the previous two SEA Games held in Singapore and Malaysia.
PTTFI is the only legitimate table tennis association recognizes by the PSC, Philippine Olympic Committee and international tennis federation.
Ledesma served as one of the special guests during the weekly sports forum, along with Jeremy Go of Go For Gold, Alvin Aguilar of Wrestling Association of the Philippines and Faisal Khan of Philippine Cricket Association.