MANILA, Philippines?Japan has gotten the Philippines? number on its last two Davis Cup ties, but officials of the Philippine squad are confident that the Japanese domination will end when the two nations clash in a Group 1 tie on Mactan island in Cebu from March 4 to 6.
Philippines Davis Cup administrator Randy Villanueva and captain Chris Cuarto were one in saying that the Japanese would be vulnerable on the sand clay court of the Plantation Bay Resort, citing the Filipinos? edge when it came to familiarity with the surface, the weather condition and the support of the hometown crowd.
?These Japanese players are tough and they are already world-ranked,? said Cuarto at the PSA Forum on Tuesday at the Shakey?s UN Avenue Branch. ?But they are used to fast courts and that would be our advantage.?
?We?re going to bring the heat to them,? declared Randy Villanueva, referring to the hot and humid weather condition here.
The Philippines will field Cecil Mamiit, Treat Conrad Huey, Johnny Arcilla and Elbert Anasta for the tie against Japan. It?s the same squad that pulled off a dramatic 3-2 victory over South Korea to remain in Group 1.
?We decided to bring back the same team [that hurdled] Korea after being down 0-2,? said Villanueva in the forum presented by Pagcor, Outlast Battery and Shakey?s.
The odds will be stacked against the Filipinos, who have not won against the Japanese since 1995 when Joseph Lizardo and Robert Angelo helped essay a 3-2 win in the quarterfinals of their Group 1 tie in 1995.
Japan is expected to parade an army of world-ranked players like Go Soeda (106), Takao Suzuki (514), Toshihide Matsui (416), Yuichi Sugita (177) and Tatsumo Ito.
?We heard that Japan will field a different lineup but these are all speculations,? said Villanueva.