Tennis brand ready to shine
THE GAME OF MY LIFE - Bill Velasco (The Philippine Star) - August 31, 2019 - 12:00am

It took a handful of Filipino tennis lovers in the Middle East to bring a new brand of equipment back home. After personally experiencing using the new brand’s balls and racquets and seeing the high demand for it, they found a way to bring the brand into the Philippines to help stimulate grassroots tennis, particularly among students.

A popular brand known in the Middle East for its high quality and low price, Shine tennis equipment and accessories are recognized by the International Tennis Federation. The brand first came to the attention of overseas Filipino tennis enthusiasts in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, who were previously frustrated in their search for more cost-efficient balls.

“Many Filipinos like my husband and I in the Middle East love to play tennis, but the racquets and balls of other brands were quite expensive,” explained Mhay del Rosario, managing director, Aperegle Sports Equipment and Accessories, the Philippine distributor of Shine. “We had to keep driving hours between Abu Dhabi and Dubai, and pay a premium for the balls because the demand was so great. We decided to partner with the owners and make the products available in the Philippines.”

As the Cavite native explains, Aperegle combines the word apero (which means “friends” in French) with the image of an eagle and a falcon, symbolizing the partnership between the Filipino and Middle Eastern counterparts. The equipment is primarily manufactured in Thailand, making it readily available for the Philippine market. The company’s top of the line Ultra Shine ball is already the official ball of Tennis Emirates and Bahrain Tennis Federation, among others. Hardcore fans of the game have also seen Shine balls and racquets used by a growing number of Davis Cup and Federation Cup teams as its influence spreads to other continents. The brand’s equipment matches the quality of its competitors with a more affordable price for consumers. This prompted Aperegle to target grassroots promotion as their initial priority.

“Our first goal is to organize small tournaments in the provinces starting in December,” May adds. “Shine plans to discover future tennis champions and support them to a better tomorrow. Filipinos have the talent. They always have. They just need more support.”

Aperegle will distribute tennis racquets, balls, strings, overgrip tape, other accessories and some apparel through tennis clubs and other channels nationwide. The brand provides a more affordable alternative to more familiar American brands. The first program aims to raise the level of the game in Mindanao, the Visayas and Luzon to make them level with Metro Manila.

On Aug. 27, top executives of Aperegle paid a courtesy call on Philippine Sports Commission chairman Butch Ramirez, who welcomed their independent efforts to help grassroots development of the sport. Shine will also be distributing badminton and basketball products in the Philippines by 2020. This is a much-needed shot in the arm for the fractured tennis community: a non-partisan brand whose only wish is to support everyone who loves the sport.

* * * *

Tonight, Mark “Magnifico” Magsayo stakes his WBC Asia featherweight and IBF Pan Pacific featherweight belts against former WBO world bantamweight champion Panya Uthok Pungluang Sor Songyu Onesong in Tagbilaran, Bohol. Magsayo (19-0, 14 KOs), is ranked number 8 by the WBC, and could vault into title contender status with an impressive win. Uthok, however, has defeated 20 Filipinos in his pro career, and has vowed to knock the hometown hero out. The fight will be streamed live by Rappler.

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