Alcantara starts PH Davis Cup bid vs RungkatBy Marc Anthony Reyes
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Francis Casey Alcantara will open the country’s Davis Cup bid against Indonesian top player Christopher Rungkat in the opening rubber of their Group 2 final encounter today in Jakarta.
Treat Huey, who was listed as the Philippines No. 1 player despite not having a singles ranking, will take on Indonesian No. 2 Elbert Sie in the second singles.
The first match will start at 11 a.m. (Manila time) at Gelora Bung Karno tennis stadium.
World ranked players Jeson Patrombon and Ruben Gonzales were nominated to play in the doubles against the Southeast Asian Games doubles champs Rungkat and Sie tomorrow. Alcantara and Huey then switch opponents in Sunday’s reverse singles.
Players can be changed at least one hour before the match, and the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team is expected to tweak its lineup depending on the outcome of the opening singles.
The Philippines can still tap Alcantara and Huey in the doubles considering that the 27-year-old Fil-Am from University of Virginia is currently ranked 39th in doubles.
“If you are playing an away game with a team as strong as Indonesia, it’s very important to score in the first day and the draw that came out is the best chance we have to [do that],” said team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier.
“This is the reason we put Alcantara in the first day so Treat can avoid Rungkat and score against Sie.”
Alcantara, the 20-year-old known for his quickness and cunning, is not ranked in singles but has been the pivotal player for Fresno State, which climbed to the top 16 of the US NCAA division 1.
But he will have his hands full against the rangy 22-year-old Rungkat, who is ranked 292nd in the world and winner of three gold medals in last year’s SEA Games.
Sie is ranked 862nd, which is still higher than anybody in the Philippine roster.
Philippine Tennis Association president, Rep. Edwin Olivarez said the draw favored the Philippines which will bank on a young team against the Indonesians.