SEA Games: Alcantara, Patrombon bag doubles tennis gold
Manila, Philippines – Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon completed their 2019 Southeast Asian Games journey on a high after they stunned compatriots Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales in straight sets, 7-6 (2), 7-5 in the men’s doubles gold medal match at Rizal Memorial Tennis Courts on Saturday.
“I’m so happy and thankful. Kudos to Treat and Ruben, they played really good too, and we know in the Finals, only one is going to win and luckily, we got the win today,” said Alcantara. “To my partner too, thank you, Jeson.”
Right from the first service, both pairs turned up the challenge as they exchanged volleys and aces before Alcantara and Patrombon snared three straight points to lead 5-3, after exchanging ties earlier in the match.
Huey, the country’s top doubles player in past SEA Games stagings, tried to rally his side to victory, even taking the lead at one point, 6-5.
But Alcantara and Patrombon forced their more-experienced opponents to three consecutive errors and turned the match around for good.
“At first, there pressure was there because we’re also facing our temmates and because it’s our first time to play in the finals during our time as partners,” Patrombon told reporters after their all-Filipino showdown.
“I’m thankful that we won and Nino and I played well, and congratulations to Ruben and Treat,” he added.
Vietnamese pairs, meanwhile, shared bronze medals after losing to the Filipinos in the semifinals. Le Quoc Khanh and Ly Hoang Nam bowed to Huey and Gonzales, while Daniel Cao Nguyen and Nguyen Van Phuong lost to the eventual champions.
It was the first men’s doubles gold medal for the country since 1991, when Felix Barrientos and Roland So clinched gold at the same venue, beating Thai brothers Narathorn and Thanakorn Srichapan.
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