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Tennis team make pre-Davis Cup visit to pagoda

Members of the Cambodian national tennis team, bound for Dubai next week, visit Asrom Sel Votei pagoda in Kep
Members of the Cambodian national tennis team, bound for Dubai next week, visit Asrom Sel Votei pagoda in Kep. PHOTO SUPPLIED

Tennis team make pre-Davis Cup visit to pagoda

The members of the Cambodian Davis Cup tennis team spent a quiet weekend in Kep to keep up with the long tradition of visiting a holy mountain-top pagoda in the seaside town for prayers before every major event.

The team took time off from an ongoing intensive training camp in Phnom Penh to pray at the Asrom Sel Votei pagoda on Sunday morning to seek divine blessing before their trip next week to Dubai for the Asia Oceania Group III campaign.

Only nuns reside in this pagoda, regarded by the local population as a spiritually unique place, and it has become a tradition for Cambodian tennis teams to offer prayers there before they go out on foreign assignments.

“I first saw this place years ago by chance during one of my mountain bike adventures,” non-playing captain Tep Rithivit said.

“I find this place so peaceful and spiritually uplifting. Now it has become a routine. Every time that we travel, we are here first.”

All four players – Bun Kenny, Long Samneang, Mam Phalkun and his younger brother Panhara, who arrived in Phnom Penh last Thursday night, along with national coach Braen Aneiros – accompanied Tep Rithivit on this short mountain mission.

“The players needed this break. This week they will be training real hard. We used the weekend for some relaxation in this beautiful seaside city,” Aneiros told the Post.

“This Kep therapy, as it has become known, worked very well for us during our Mission to Doha [last year]. I hope it works the same way for us in Dubai,” added the Cuban-born coach, who was a Panamanian Davis Cup player in his playing career.

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