The Philippines will play host to Syria in the first round of the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group 2 tie next year at Plantation Bay Spa and Resort in Lapu Lapu City.
Officials are hoping to finally field Fil-German Marc Sieber, who said he is willing to play for the team even if it means giving up his German citizenship. Sieber reached the semifinals of the recent PCA Open.
But the country has enough firepower to handle Syria, which yielded the homecourt because of the domestic violence there.
The Philippines, ranked 44th as against Syria’s 74th, boasts a team made up of Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Johnny Arcilla, Jeson Patrombon, Francis Casey Alcantara and teener Jurence Mendoza.
“I would love to play for the Phil-ippines,” said Sieber in an earlier interview. “With the group of players we have, we’ll see how we can fare against teams in Davis Cup.”
The Philippines has never played against Syria, which advanced from Group 3 after beating Iran and Kuwait this year.
The Filipinos scored shutout wins over Pacific Oceania and Pakistan but missed moving up to Group 1 after dropping its final tie with Indonesia, 3-2, this year.
This is the second straight year the Philippines is playing in Group 2. Plantation Bay also was the venue when the country lost ties against tough Group 1 foes Japan and Chinese Taipei last year.