Cuppers triumph

February 4, 2013

LAPU LAPU CITY – The Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine team turned to Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales on Saturday night to secure a series-clinching third win over Syria in the first round of their Group II Davis Cup campaign.

The Fil-American duo overpowered Issam Haitham Taweel and Marc Abdelnour, 6-0, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2, for a commanding 3-0 lead and a spot in the next round of the Asia Oceania Zone.

By clinching the best-of-five tie, yesterday’s reverse singles, being played at presstime pitting Gonzales against Taweel followed by Arcilla versus Abdelnour, were turned into mere exhibition matches.

It was Huey and Gonzales’ second win in three appearances as a pair, further showcasing the depth of the squad. Huey also snared his seventh doubles triumph against four losses since joining the squad in 2009, while Gonzales improved to a 3-2 in his three-year stint.

Last Friday, Johnny Arcilla downed Taweel, Syria’s nominated No. 1 player, 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2, before Gonzales edged Abdelnour, 6-4, 7-6(1), 6-2, to get the commanding lead going to the crucial doubles.

“We’re not expecting a sweep because Taweel and Abdelnour also have international experiences being based in Egypt and France, respectively,” said PH non-playing team captain Roland Kraut. “But the team showed more confidence so it’s a great win for us.”

The Filipinos are still waiting for their next opponent slated to be competed on April 5 to 7 here in the country wth Thailand and Kuwait still locked in battle. The Thais are leading their matchup, 2-1 after winning the doubles also held last Saturday.

Huey, ranked No. 36 in the ATP doubles, said the tie win fueled their bid to regain their Group I slot they lost in 2011. Two more tie wins and the Filipinos will be promoted to the elite Group next year.

“I think our team is getting better over the last couple of years, with Johnny and Ruben and Onyon (Anasta) as weel as the younger guys like Nino (Alcantara), and Jeson (Patrombon),” said Huey.

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