Luisa Morales – Philstar.com

November 4, 2021 | 12:33pm

Philippines’ Yuka Saso watches her drive from the 10th tee in round 3 of the women’s golf individual stroke play during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Kasumigaseki Country Club in Kawagoe on August 6, 2021.

YOSHI IWAMOTO / AFP

MANILA, Philippines – The National Golf Association of the Philippines (NGAP) has broken its silence over Yuka Saso’s decision to become a Japanese national.

ABS-CBN’s Dyan Castillejo on Thursday tweeted the statement of NGAP secretary general Bones Floro.

“Yuka is both Filipino and Japanese,” Floro said. “We are sad to see her go, but she will always be a huge part of Philippine golf.

Born to a Japanese father and Filipino mother, Saso, 20, announced her decision on Wednesday.

By Japanese law, dual citizens need to choose one or the other before the age of 22.

A prominent athlete who also had to choose between citizenships is tennis star Naomi Osaka, who also chose to be a Japanese national instead of American.

Though Saso will no longer be representing the Philippines, the golfer’s contributions to Philippine golf is not lost on the NGAP.

In her run representing the country, she has won two gold medals in the Asian Games, and claimed her first-ever major LPGA title in the US Open earlier this year.

“We thank her for her service to our country,” said Floro.