Pinoy netters want a quick kill in Davis Cup tie against Sri Lanka

Mark Escarlote on Mar 03, 2015 03:33 PM
PHL hosts Sri Lanka in Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 tie

Cebuana Lhullier-Philippine team coach Karl Santamaria is hoping that the home town bets will take the win as early as possible when they play Sri Lanka for the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 tie from March 6-8 at Valle Verde Country Club.

“That’s what we are looking for to prevent complications,” Santamaria said of their plan to take the opening singles and doubles matches during the Philippines Sportswriters Association Forum Tuesday at Shakey’s Malate. “We want to take the win right in the first two days.

Grand Slam veteran Treat Huey will be seeing action for the first time since his stint in the International Premier Tennis League which kicked off its maiden leg here in Manila last November where he played for the Manila Mavericks alongside superstars Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Also donning the national colors for the team are Pepperdine University standout Francis Casey Alcantara, PH No. 1 local PJ Tierro, and Ruben Gonzales who just won an ATP Challenger singles title last week in Mexico. Roland Kraut will serve as non-playing captain.

Santamaria said that they also want to take advantage of the court’s shell-clay surface to beat the Sri Lankans who never won against them in the previous eight ties.     

“The Sri Lankan team is not used to that kind of surface and it’s a good strategy for us given that the host team has the privilege of choosing the kind of court to play in,” he said.   

The drawing of lots will be held at 10 a.m. March 5 also at Valle Verde which is hosting the Davis Cup for the first time. Opening singles matches on March 6 will begin at 4 p.m. with opening ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Doubles match on March 7 and reverse singles on March 8 will begin at 3 p.m.

But Sri Lankan will be a different opponent this time with the inclusion of a young gun 19-year-old Sharmal Dissanayake, who won ATP points in their country this year.

He didn’t see action when the Philippines scored a 3-1 rout in Colombo.

The Sri Lankan team is also composed of Harsahana Godamanna, Dineshkantan Thangarajah and Sankha Atukarale. Non-playing captain is Rohan Silva.

Last year the hope of the Philippines to get back at the elite Group after winning against Sri Lanka was shattered when the Pinoy netters tasted a 2-3 defeat at the hands of Pakistan in the semifinals even after winning the first two matches.

Tickets for the match are priced at P1,000 for a three-day pass, and P500 for a day pass.

New Zealand’s David Smith will be the head ITF referee.

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