Phl Cuppers win doubles, seal Asia-Oceania tie

LAPU-LAPU CITY, Philippines – Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales worked fluidly in only their second teamup to hack out a 6-0, 6-3, 2-6, 6-2 win over Syria’s Issam Taweel and Marc Abdelnour, sealing the Davis Cup Asia Oceania Zone Group II first-round tie for the Philippines last night at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa here.

Huey and Gonzales summoned the form that made them victorious in a previous partnership in a 5-0 triumph over Pakistan last year, playing a well coordinated game, with the former attending to the net and the latter taking care of the baseline to give the hosts the clincher, 3-0.

The Cebuana Lhuillier-Phl Davis Cup team, which touched off the tie with victories by Johnny Arcilla (a 6-4, 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 over Taweel) and Gonzales (6-4, 7-6 (1), 6-2, over Abdelnour) in the opening singles, will face off with either Kuwait and Thailand in the semifinal round. The Kuwaitis and the Thais are locked in a 1-1 standoff at presstime.

“We stuck to our gameplan and played our best,” said doubles specialist Huey. “We’re happy to win this tie and we offer this to our supporters, especially here.”

The Pinoy Cupper will wrap up this campaign in today’s reverse singles beginning at 3:30 p.m. Gonzales and Arcilla are nominated for the matches, although non-playing captain Roland Kraut has the option to make lineup changes an hour before the first match, especially with the tie already in the bag.

Huey and Gonzales took turns holding serve and they broke Taweel and Abdelnour each time to easily take the first set.

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Although the Syrians managed to hold serve for the first time in the match en route to a 2-2 score in the second, the Fil-Am aces reimposed their domination and made well-placed net shots to go two-sets up.

By the third, Taweel and Abdelnour had already read the Filipinos’ play and made adjustments, breaking them for the first time in the sixth game and a second time in the eighth to force a fourth set.

Huey and Gonzales broke the Syrians to open the fourth set en route to a 3-1 cushion. Taweel and Abdelnour survived a series of deuces in the next game to threaten at 2-3 but with Huey serving, Phl quickly picked up the sixth game, then broke an erratic Syrian service, and finally held serve in the seventh, with Gonzales delivering match point with a down-the-line winner as cheers erupted from a crowd of over 1,000.

The Phl-Syria Davis Cup tie is supported by Smart Sports, Cebuana Lhuillier, Yonnex, Jober, Philippine Sports Commission, Jober Electronics, and Plantation Bay Resort and Spa.

Notes: Matches in the Phl-Syria Davis Cup tie can be viewed on Youtube via Philippine Tennis Channel and Facebook via the Philta page....With the enthusiastic response from local fans and even foreign guests, host venue Plantation Bay Resort and Spa is batting for a fourth Davis Cup staging here. “We’re very encouraged by the turnout and we look forward to hosting future DC ties here,” said Plantation Bay president and CEO Manny Gonzalez.


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