Mandaluyong City Mayor Benhur Abalos (in stripes) and Philippine Table Tennis Academy President Jon Ebuen (right) watch a kid-trainee during an exhibition. The child is one of the 18 sport scholars being trained by the PTTA, the first formal table tennis school in the Philippines situated at the Mandaluyong Elementary School. The collaboration of Mandaluyong City, through Mayor Abalos, and the PTTA, is expected to raise awareness and the level of competition of the sport in the country and produce a potential table tennis champion. Ebuen is a member of the Philippine National Table Tennis team, a six-time national champion and one of the most sought-after coaches in the US.


The City of  Mandaluyong  and the Philippine Table Tennis Association (PTTA) yesterday joined forces to help promote the sport among children aged six to 10 years old.

In simple ceremonies, Mandaluyong Mayor Benhur Abalos and PTTA President Ernesto ‘Jon’ Ebuen III forged a deal to work hand-in-hand in the expansion of table tennis among the city’s children, united in
their belief that the ‘earlier-the-better’ mantra applies.

“The PTTA remains positive that with this process, by starting them young, and with high-class training facilities, we will be able to produce world-class athletes,” said Ebuen. “We are committed to make a
difference in their lives.”

Abalos has already provided the PTTA with a rental-free facility located at the 4th flr. of the Mandaluyong  Elementary  School  in Brgy. Poblacion. He intends to open more table tennis centers to promote interest in the sport.

“We hope to come up with additional centers for the sport,” Abalos said. “Providing us free space is already a great help on the part of the city government,” Ebuen said.

Abalos also praised Ebuen for returning to the country to impart his skills to the children of Mandaluyong. Ebuen is a former six-time champion in the Philippines before moving to the U.S. He trained Hollywood celebrities like Susan Sarandon, Jennifer Connelly, Michael
Landers, Kelly Preston and Judah Friedlander.

At present, there are 18 children aged six to 10 who are under rigid training since August of last year. The children are being trained by Ebuen’s father, Ernesto Ebuen, Jr. Abalos also is urging children to
join the free training class done daily from 9 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

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