Pinoy Davis Cup team starts home stand vs. Chinese-Taipei

ABS-CBN Sports on Jul 14, 2016 05:44 PM
Pinoy Davis Cup team starts home stand vs. Chinese-Taipei
Treat Huey (middle) and the rest of Philippine Davis Cup team begins their Asia/Oceania Group 2 semifinal tie against Chinese Taipei Friday.

The Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team’s strong start against a team they had never beaten before rests on the shoulders of Ruben Gonzales.

Gonzales and the rest of the Filipino netters open their Asia/Oceania Group 2 semifinal tie against Chinese Taipei Friday at Philippine Columbian Association shell courts on Friday.

First to see action is Gonzales against Taiwanese No. 1 Chen Ti in the opening singles, while Filipino top player Francis Casey Alcantara will take on the visitors’ No. 2 Huang Liang-chi in the rubbers that start at 3:00 p.m.

Wimbledon semifinalist Treat Huey and Jeson Patrombon will face Hung Jui-chen and Wang Chieh-fu in the doubles match scheduled for Saturday. Gonzales and Alcantara switch opponents on Sunday’s reverse singles.

Non-playing captain Karl Santamaria welcomed the results of the draw Thursday presided by Philippine Tennis Association’s incoming president Salvador “Buddy” Andrada and executive vice president Manuel Misa.

ITF referee David Smith and Philta vice president and Davis Cup administrator Randy Villanueva were also present in the draw ceremony.

“We have a very versatile lineup of players and I’m confident they can play well in both doubles and singles,” said Santamaria in explaining his shuffle that made Alcantara the No. 1 player.

Alcantara, who plays mostly on doubles and in 2009 Australian Open won the juniors doubles title with Taiwanese partner Hsieh Cheng-peng, said he’s challenged with the trust given to him and “will be out there fighting.”

Chinese Taipei’s non-playing captain Chiang Jin-yen said the Philippines has better doubles players but they have strong singles bets.

The 32-year-old Chen is ranked 226th in singles and 140th in doubles. He was part of the Taiwanese’ three-tie winning run over the Philippines.

“Yeah they are ranked higher than us but in Davis Cup anything can happen,” said Gonzales who just won doubles title ITF Futures in France.

The Philippines won the first four ties against Chinese Taipei, but has since lost the last three encounters, including a 3-2 decision in Kaohshiung last year.

But Chiang said: “You have the advantage of the home court and the shell courts, that’s what we will make adjustments.”

The Taiwanese dealt the the Filipinos a stinging defeat in the 2011 Group 1 relegation tie in Plantation Bay in Cebu.


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