Skipper asks Filipinos to rally behind Cuppers in battle versus Thais
Despite the leadership squabbles rocking Philippine tennis, national coach Chris Cuarto is seeking all-out support when the country takes on powerful Thailand in the second round of the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group 2 tie starting Friday at PCA’s shell courts.
The nonplaying captain emphasized that the Filipinos will be facing tall odds this weekend and would need all the help they can get from the sport’s stakeholders.
“Despite the issue of leadership, I hope all tennis leaders and fans will come and support our team,” said Cuarto. “We are not playing for Philta (Philippine Tennis Association) or for any other camp, we are playing for the country, so I hope everybody will back us up in this fight.”
The Philippines holds a 4-3 edge in its head-to-head with Thailand, although the last victory by the Thais, which came in the second round of Group 2 last year in Nonthaburi, was a 5-0 thumping.
An upset of the Thais would put the Filipinos in the final phase of Group 2 against either Hong Kong or Lebanon.
Seasoned twins Sonchat and Sanchai Ratiwatana banner the Thai roster.
“To be honest, we are expecting to win,” said Sonchat during Wednesday’s press launch at PCA. “But clay court is not our forte. So I would say the chance is 50-50.”
The heralded twins are expected to play in Saturday’s doubles against Francis Casey Alcantara and the returning Johnny Arcilla.
Alberto Lim Jr. and Jeson Patrombon complete the Philippine Team.