Sa kahit anong inaasam na tagumpay, kailangan ang masusing pagtutulungan.

Isa si Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara, kaliwa, sa tinatawag na “success story” ng pagbibigay-suporta ng Cebuana Lhuillier sa national men’s tennis team sa pangunguna ni Jean Henri Lhuillier.Ganito rin ang prinsipyong pinaiiral ng kilalang negosyante at sportsman na si Jean Henri Lhuillier pagdating sa isports. Si Lhuillier ang nasa likod ng Cebuana Lhuillier, ang isa sa pinakamalaking tagasuporta ng palakasan sa Pilipinas, partikular na sa tennis.

“Philippine sports needs a lot of [good] people, a lot of support. And that’ s why I’m here,” ani Lhuillier nang makapanayam ng Balita sa kasagsagan ng Davis Cup tie sa pagitan ng national men’s tennis team at Sri Lanka sa Valle Verde Country Club noong weekend.

Sa larangan ng tennis sa bansa, naniniwala si Lhuillier, ang kasalukuyang Chairman of the Board ng Philippine Tennis Association (PHILTA), na patuloy ang pag-angat ng antas nito.

Generals nag-walk out daw sa isang command conference; AFP, nagsalita na

“As far as the state of Philippine tennis is in a good spot for many reasons. One is because it’s a popular sport today. Globally, it’s a popular sport. Two, is because there are many junior tennis events. If you take a look at it now, almost every weekend, aside from us at Cebuana Lhuillier having tournaments, other companies are also supporting tournaments. That’s a good sign. With that being said, you have a pool of very good talents coming in from juniors going to collegiate level. Aside from that, we have a very good group of guys who are competing in the pro level,” lahad ni Lhuillier.

Isa sa mga nabanggit ni Lhuillier na manlalaro na gumagawa ng pangalan para sa Philippine tennis ay ang 22-anyos na si Francis Casey “Nino” Alcantara.

Nakatakdang magtapos sa kursong Communications mula sa Pepperdine University sa California, United States, si Alcantara ay unang sumabak sa Davis Cup noong 2009 at mula noon ay nakaharap na ang mga manlalaro mula sa Hong Kong, Pakistan, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand at New Zealand.

Sa likod ng suporta ng Cebuana Lhuillier mula noong siya ay 14-anyos pa laman, mula Cagayan de Oro, si Alcantara ay dalawang beses nang nakapaglaro sa Wimbledon at sa Australian at French Open habang tatlong beses naman sa US Open. Siya ay gumawa ng kasaysayan noong 2009 nang makopo ang titulo sa Australian Open juniors doubles event katambal si Hsieh Cheng-peng ng Chinese-Taipei.

Minsan na rin siyang naging ranked No. 14 sa mundo bilang junior player.

“Going back to the PTA (Philippine Tennis Academy) whose founding members are Romy Chan, Oscar Hilado, Hanky Lee and myself, we were on the lookout for tennis hopefuls. When we say hopefuls, obviously you’re looking for them to one day become a pro. But the ultimate goal mainly is to get the kid into a good college and get a good education may it be domestically or abroad. Fortunately for Nino, he got into an NCAA Divison I school and that is a big accomplishment,” ani Lhuillier.

“Everybody’s got dreams of making it to the pro level, and yeah, that’s good, but getting a good education is the most important thing,” dagdag niya.

Kaugnay nito, umaasa si Alcantara – kasama ang iba pang miyembro ng Philippine Davis Cup Team na sina Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzalez, at 2014 PCA Open champion Patrick John “PJ” Tierro na winalis ang Sri Lanka, 3-0, sa Davis Cup Asia Oceania Zone Group II – na patuloy ang kanyang paglapit sa pinapangarap na paggawa ng pangalan sa world level katuwang ang grupo ni Lhuillier.

“They’ve helped me a lot. From when I was 13-14 years old, they’ve help provide for my training, travels to tournaments, allowances, everything. Luckily, I’ve been playing well and that paved the way for me to get into Pepperdine to play college tennis,” kuwento ni Alcantara.

Nabanggit niya si Kei Nishikori, ang manlalaro mula Japan na kasalukuyang World No. 4 at nag-iisang Asian sa Top 10. Aniya, pangarap niyang mapabilang din sa “elite group” na ito ng tennis.

“Hopefully, I get to play against the world’s best as a pro. I just have to keep working hard, keep training. (My) level of tennis is not there yet, but it’s not impossible,” pagtatapos ni Alcantara.