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Mamiit sees tough battle with Taiwanese in Davis Cup tie

/ 09:29 PM September 08, 2011

Cecil Mamiit

MANILA, Philippines – Cecil Mamiit admitted on Thursday that the national tennis team would have a “tough” fight with Chinese Taipei in the Davis Cup Group 1 relegation tie next week in Cebu.

The playing team captain of the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team, who planed in from Los Angeles Wednesday morning, buckled down to practice on Thursday, at the Manila Polo Club, to get the feel of the clay-shell courts of the Plantation Bay Spa and Resort in Lapu Lapu City, where the tie will be held.

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“We have been busy playing tournaments all summer and we are excited to come together a week before the tie,” said Mamiit. “I will probably gauge on how we are [as a team] a few days before the tie,” he said.

“But it will be a tough task and we’re looking forward to competing and giving a good fight against Taipei.”

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Returning with the team is world No. 70 in doubles Treat Huey, along with Ruben Gonzales, Jeson Patrombon and Johnny Arcilla.

After dropping the first two ties against Japan and New Zealand early this year, the Nationals have to beat the Taiwanese to fend off demotion to Group 2 in 2012.

The 35-year-old Mamiit, back-to-back Southeast Asian Games singles champion, also asked for public support for the team not only in terms of crowd attendance but also in media coverage.

“The team understands the value of great support, more importantly home court support,” he said . “Also we would like to have some TV coverage to show such an upcoming battle against a great country. People would be proud to see us play at such a high level.”

The tie against Japan last March, also held at the world-class resort, was carried live by AKTV of TV5. It also drew capacity crowd at the venue, which can accommodate 2,000 spectators.

“We are working to do things a bit different in trying to attract better crowds for the tie. I believe we are lowering the costs for tickets plus adding shade to the stands so it can accommodate more for better viewing,” he added.

The team will fly to Cebu on Friday, to familiarize with the courts, which has been jointly built by the city government of Lapu Lapu City and Plantation Bay Spa and Resort for Davis Cup matches.

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TAGS: Cecil Mamiit, Davis Cup, Sports, Tennis
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