LAPU LAPU CITY—The Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine team eyes a return to the elite Group 1 of the Asia Oceania Davis Cup when it clashes with New Zealand tomorrow at Plantation Bay Spa and Resort here.
After two victories earlier this year also at this scenic tourist hotspot, the Filipino Cuppers will work on getting promoted from Group 2 where it has been playing for two straight years.
Drawing of lots, which decides who plays first in tomorrow’s opening singles, will be held at 10 a.m., today at the resort’s Alcatraz ballroom.
But team officials said they are not pinning their chances on the outcome of the draw as the PH Cuppers are all pumped up and ready for action.
Revenge will also be a motivation for the Filipinos who got waylaid by the Kiwis two years ago in a Group 1 tie played in New Zealand.
As in its previous wins over Syria and Thailand this year, 20-year-old Ruben Gonzales is expected to be the country’s top player. The world No. 933 has accounted for four victories so far, including two in the opening singles.
Though the coaching staff is keeping its cards close to its chest, the 33-year-old clay specialist Johnny Arcilla is likely to be No. 2 player owing to his vast experience on the slow surface. The seven-time PCA Open champ holds a 1-1 record when playing in the opening singles this year.
US Open doubles quarterfinalist Treat Huey is expected to focus on Saturday’s doubles which is expected to be the pivotal part of the tie.