TATAND Table tennis “Godfather” Stephen Techico (center, seated) is shown with officials and members of the TATAND during a send-off recently for members of the Philippine Team, led by siblings Khevine and Philippine women’s no. 1 Kheith Rhynne Cruz (front row). The group, which also included World Championship campaigner John Russel Misal and Chrishien Mae Santillan, left last August 4 for a month-long training at Hebei National Training Center in China.

TATAND sends 4 table netters to China for training

August 29, 2023 People's Tonight 472 views

A FOUR-man Philippine team, led by women’s top player Kheith Rhynne Cruz and World Championship campaigner John Russel Misal, left Manila last August 4 for a month-long training in China under the sponsorship grant of table tennis’ long-time supporter, businessman Stephen Techico.

In partnership with the Table Tennis Association for National Development, led by president Peter Lam, the nationals under the supervision of coach Kheaneth Cruz, will try to further hone their skills and mental preparedness for future local and international tournaments.

The training program started on August 6 and will end on September 4.

Joining the group are Cruz’s younger brother Khevine and SEA Games’ veteran Chrishien Mae Santillan.

All are TATAND protégés and part of the group’s strenuous grassroots development program, which includes sending athletes abroad for training and competition.

Last June, the 17-year-old Cruz made history after winning two gold medals and a silver in the 2023 Southeast Asia Junior Table Tennis Championship in Brunei Darussalam.

The pride of Paco Academy claimed the girls’ 17-under title and the girls’ doubles, with Santillan as a partner before leading the girls’ squad to a silver podium finish in the team event.

Misal, on the other hand, won his second straight bronze medal in the SEA Games after claiming the bronze with partner Richard Gonzales in the 2023 Cambodia edition.

Aside from shouldering the team’s plane tickets and accommodation, Techico also handed allowances to all team members for their one-month stay at the Heibe National Training Cent.

Also attending the sendoff were TATAND honorary president Wilson Tan, TATAND president Peter Lam, Executive Vice President Gilbert Shi, Vice President Alex Wong, Principal Peter Lim, Honorary President Charlie Lim, Ernest Salvador, and Philip Uy, who provided Joola equipment and training uniform for the team.