PH Cuppers clinch tie via doubles win
Treat Huey and Francis Casey Alcantara hacked out a four-set win over Sharmal Dissanayake and Dineshkantan Thangarajah, 3-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-4, yesterday as the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippines squad clinched their Davis Cup tie with Sri Lanka with an insurmountable 3-0 lead at Valle Verde Country Club.
The doubles’ victory rendered today’s reverse singles featuring Tierro against Dissanayake and Alcantara against Harshana Godamanna insignificant as the hosts assured themselves of a semifinal stint possibly against Chinese Taipei, which holds a 2-0 lead over Lebanon in their own matchup.
“It was very good showing for the team and hopefully that will boost our morale going into the next tie,” said PH team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier.
Nonplaying team captain Roland Kraut said they would still go for a 5-0 result today as he replaced Ruben Gonzales with Alcantara in the fifth rubber. The two reverse singles will both be best-of-three affairs.
Gonzales gave the Filipinos a 2-0 lead late Friday after Patrick John Tierro won the opening singles with a come-from-behind 5-7, 3-6, 6-4, 6-0, 6-3 victory over Godamanna. Gonzales had an easier time with a 6-3, 6-2, 6-1 romp over Dissayanake.
“I think we have regained our confidence after last year (when PH lost to Pakistan), and we will go all out tomorrow to finish the tie on a high note,” added Kraut.
Huey and Alcantara came back after losing the first set behind superb work at the net and sharply angled volleys, capping their masterful display by racing to 5-2 in the fourth.
“First set they really played well and I was so tight I was missing shots,” said Alcantara. “But after the service break in the second set we relaxed and from there we took over.”
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