FRANCIS Casey Alcantara drubbed Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul, 6-4, 4-6, 6-0, late Sunday as the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine team formally clinched the Davis Cup Asia/Oceania Group 2 semifinal tie with a 4-1 victory over Thailand at Plantation Bay Spa and Resort in Lapu-Lapu City.
Ruben Gonzales earlier gave the Filipinos an insurmountable 3-1 advantage by taking the first reverse singles with a 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 rout of former Asian Games singles champ and world No. 207 Danai Udomchoke,
Team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier expressed delight over the victory which lined the country next against New Zealand, which routed Pakistan.
The Filipinos will face the Kiwis in September also at Plantation Bay with the winner moving up to Group 1 next year.
Lhuillier said they are looking at beefing up the team with Fil-German Marc Sieber.
“I hope the people in charge of helping him get a Filipino passport hear this,” said Lhuillier. “If we have him, we would be a solid Group 1 team and good for at least two wins in Group 1.
The Philippines last played in Group 1 in 2011then lost to Japan, Chinese Taipei and New Zealand.
The Davis Cup tie was sponsored by Cebuana Lhuillier, Smart Communications, Yonex, Philippine Sports Commission and Philippine Daily Inquirer.
Gonzales won the opening singles against Wishaya, who retired with cramps on both legs while trailing 6-7 (8-6), 6-4, 2-0 Friday.