Rungkat ousts PH Cuppers
Indonesian ace batters Jeson
Philippine Daily Inquirer
INDONESIAN star Christopher Rungkat outclassed Jeson Patrombon, 6-3, 6-2, 6-0, in the first reverse singles as the host country clinched the Davis Cup Asian Zone Group 2 finals tie over the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine team Sunday in Jakarta.
With an unbeatable 3-1 lead and promotion to Group 1 next year assured, the Indonesians settled for a final 3-2 count as Francis Casey Alcantara beat Sunu-Wahyu Trijati, 6-3, 6-7 (7-4), 6-4, in the fifth rubber later in the day.
All four Filipinos, with an average age of 23, played in a bid to expose them to high-stakes situations. In the end, though, it was the 22-year-old Indonesian hero who hurt them.
Rungkat, who captured four tennis gold medals in the Southeast Asian Games last year, earlier beat Alcantara in the first singles of the tie before combining with Elbert Sie to nail the men’s doubles and give the Indonesians a pivotal 2-1 lead Saturday.
The Philippines, playing for the first time this year minus Cecil Mamiit, will stay in Group 2 for a second straight year. The Filipinos earlier swept Pacific Oceania and Pakistan to advance against the Indonesians.
Nonplaying captain Roland Kraut admitted that Indonesia displayed superiority on the court although he noted his team’s gallant stand.
“Even if we win the tie here, we wouldn’t be ready for Group 1 level next year,” said Kraut. “Indonesia deserved to win and be promoted to Group 1.”
Team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier said the team packs a lot of promise in future ties.
“We are very proud of our team; everybody played a bearing game and had an important role, everybody tried hard and gave his best,” Lhuillier said.
“Ours is a young team that has great potentials,” said team administrator Randy Villanueva. “We are the second best team this year. With the experience we gained, we are determined to be the best in this group next year.”
Doubles specialist Treat Huey evened things out for the Filipinos in the second singles with a win over Sie, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3.
Rungkat and Sie, who beat Huey and Mamiit in the SEA Games doubles title match, downed a hurting Huey and Ruben Gonzales, 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5), 6-2, to build that 2-1 edge going into Sunday’s reverse singles. Marc Anthony Reyes