Well-known in Cambodia and rapidly expanding, hire purchase and vehicle finance company GL Finance (GLF) has teamed up with Tennis Cambodia as the main sponsors of the Kingdom’s Asia/Oceania Group IV Davis Cup campaign in Bahrain from April 3-8.
Led by charismatic president Mitsuji Konoshita, a former Japanese tennis professional turned business magnate, GLF had co-sponsored previous Cup runs in Dubai, Iran and Malaysia, as well as the three-leg Futures Series in 2014. But for administrative reasons had stayed away from the 2016 Group III cycle also held in Iran.
“They never really left us. They have always been supporting us, and we are delighted to have GLF back on board again in such a big role for an event the country covets highly. Great support like the one extended to us by GLF is what drives great success,” Tennis Cambodia secretary-general Tep Rithivit, who is also the national squad’s non-playing captain, told a news conference yesterday.
“The fact that GLF has stood by us even after demotion to Group IV last year shows that our partnership is driven by the cause of tennis and GLF’s commitment to support us and not by the results,’’ said Rithivit, who is confident Cambodia, the highest ranked team among the 11 in contention for the two promotion slots, will regain Group III status.
“Our business philosophy is youth driven, and it perfectly blends with that of Tennis Cambodia. And our president has always been an enthusiastic supporter of Cambodian Tennis. We are indeed happy to be associated once again,” said GLF chief executive Yusuke Kozuma, representing Konoshita, at the conference.
The four-member Cambodian team of Bun Kenny, Phalkun Mam, Long Samneang and newcomer Our Sarith, along with Tep Rithivit and national head coach Braen Aneiros, are to leave Phnom Penh for Bahrain this evening.
The official draw and order of matches will be determined on April 2 by chief referee Valery Lutkov.
Ranked 101st in the list of Davis Cup nations, Cambodia is likely to head Pool A, which consists of five teams, with Iraq, the second-highest-ranked team in the field, heading the six-nation Pool B.
With Yemen pulling out of the tournament, the 11 left are Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, Iraq, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Myanmar, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Singapore and Tajikistan.