Davis Cup tie drawing of lots today in Iriga | Inquirer Sports

Davis Cup tie drawing of lots today in Iriga

/ 11:33 PM February 08, 2012

Treat Huey.

IRIGA CITY—Known for its abundance of natural crystal springs, this second and less popular city in Camarines Sur takes a crack at hosting an international sports event when the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team launches its bid to get back to the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group 1 this weekend.

Mayor Madelaine Alfelor-Gazmen said the city hopes to showcase its readiness to serve as sports host on the eve of the drawing of lots which will decide who will see action in the first two singles matches of the tie against Pacific Oceania.

The draw will be held today in her office at 10 a.m.

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The matches will be played at the University of St. Anthony which has the ‘best indoor tennis stadium’ in the Philippines, according to Philippine Tennis Association officials led by president Rep. Edwin Olivarez.

“Thanks to Mayor Gazmen for making this possible. The city did a tremendous job in coming up with the best indoor tennis court stadium in the Philippines with also the best lighting designed for tennis,’’ said Philta vice president for development and DC administrator Randy Villanueva.

Villanueva said the court has a 20,000-watt metal halide lighting which is at par with international standard. It also seats more than 2,000 spectators, though more are expected to turn out because the tie is part of the city’s staging of the Tinagba Festival.

The Pacific Oceania players headed by No. 1 Michael Leong from Solomon Islands, who is ranked 1,794th, arrived Monday morning and had a practice at the hardcourts ahead of the PH team.

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Rounding out the visiting squad are doubles players Daniel Llarenas and Cyril Jacobe and novice Aymeric Mara. Cyrille Mainguy is non-playing team captain.

“Their team looks strong and almost all the players are taller than our players,’’ said Villanueva. “In practice they look fit and ready to give a good show against our players.’’

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With Cecil Mamiit serving as non-playing skipper for the first time, Treat Huey will be the top PH bet. Ruben Gonzales, Johnny Arcilla and last year’s Australian Open junior quarterfinalist Jeson Patrombon complete the team.

Huey is fresh from competing in Germany, where he placed second in the men’s doubles with a British partner in an ATP event.

All the players were cheered by the big crowd that lined the city streets during yesterday’s motorcade for the tie which will be held just an hour away from the more famous Naga City renowned for the Penafrancia festival.

Team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier is also set to arrive before the opening singles on Friday which start at 3 p.m. The doubles will be held Saturday at 7 p.m. to allow festival participants to cheer for the PH Cuppers with the reverse singles set on Sunday beginning at 3 p.m.

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The tie, which will use Slazenger ball, is the first of three events the Filipinos have to win to get back to Group 1. The Filipinos, which played in Group 1 in 2010 and 2011, will face either Pakistan or Lebanon next if they hurdle Pacific Oceania.

TAGS: court, Davis Cup, Davis Cup tie, Iriga

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