Pinoy netters secure Davis Cup semifinals ticket
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 07, 2015 08:09 PM
Filipino netters Francis Casey Alcantara (left) and Treat Huey played superb in the doubles event to help the home team take the bus ride to the semifinals of the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 tie.
Treat Huey and Francis Casey Alcantara teamed up to formally clinch the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 tie for the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippines as the duo nipped Sri Lanka’s Sharmal Dissanayake and Dineshkantan Thangarajah, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, in the doubles match Saturday at Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City.
The Filipinos won the tie, 3-0, after the singles victories of Patrick John Tierro and Ruben Gonzales last Friday night.
The pair won despite blowing six match points.
“I think we have regained out confidence after last year (when PH lost to Pakistan, 3-2, after a 2-0 lead), and we will go all out tomorrow (Sunday) to finish the tie on a high note,” said non-playing captain Roland Kraut in the din of celebration.
Their victory rendered Sunday’s reverse singles featuring Tierro against Dissanayake and Alcantara against Harshana Godamanna non-bearing matches.
The hosts assured themselves of the semifinal stint against the winner of the Chinese Taipei-Lebanon tie. The Taiwanese hold a 2-0 lead over Lebanon in their own matchup.
“It was very good showing for the team and hopefully that boosts our morale going into the next tie,” said team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier.
Waking up from the opening set dip, Huey and Alcantara fashioned out a comeback hinged on lightning-quick reflexes by the net and sharply angled volleys to win the next two sets and get to 5-2 in the fourth at 40-15.
Sri Lanka top player Dissanayake tied the fourth frame at 2-2 before they doubled up on effort to break Thangarajah next as the visitors started to spiral down after exerting heavy efforts in the first set.
But the excitement got better of the tandem as they wasted six match points on Alcantara’s double faults and Huey’s bungled volleys.
At 40-15, the Pinoy Cuppers ran a spate of errors with Alcantara double-faulting the first two match points.
Sri Lanka once again survived another match point on a Dissanayake smash, before Huey fired long to lose the fourth match point. Huey bungled the next two match points through missed volleys.
But they calmed down in the next game allowing the Sri Lankans to hold serve for 5-4 before Alcantara opened up the game with a crisp volley followed by a volley smash.
Thangarajah fired long next, before Huey slammed an ace to preserve the victory.