I received this text message last Monday from Coach Manny Tecson from Manila: “The current ITF world junior ranking is out and Jeson Patrombon is ranked world No. 9 after his quarterfinal finish at the Australian Open.” This is positive news. If I recall correctly, Jeson, 17, is the highest ranking Pinoy since Felix Barrientos was rated in the top five in the 1980s.
Also, two days ago, I got to speak to Oscar Hilado, a Manila-based business mogul and tennis philanthropist. Like he does every January, Mr. Hilado was in Melbourne for the Oz Open’s final week. He saw the Novak-Andy final and witnessed Jeson’s third round victory. “Impressive” and “inspiring” were the words used by Hilado. Watch for Jeson, who hails from Iligan City, to join the Davis Cup team here–possibly as training partner–during the March 4 to 6 encounter against Japan.