Manila Bulletin – Davis Cup Team pulls a surprise

by By Kristel Satumbaga
Published: April 5, 2013

LAPU LAPU CITY — The Philippines tweaked its Davis Cup line- up yesterday in a bid to surprise the favored Thailand squad by nominating Fil-American Ruben Gonzales as its No. 1 player at the start of today’s singles matches at the Plantation Bay Resort and Spa here.

To complete the unusual pairing, taking the No. 2 post is veteran Johnny Arcilla whose task will be to stop Thai No. 1 and former Asian Games champion Danai Udomchoke of Thailand.

It will be the first time for Gonzales and Arcilla to take the top two singles assignments as Filipino officials hope to dislocate the plans of Thailand which has won its last two meetings against the Philippines.

Gonzales, a 27-year-old Fil-Am, will take on Thai teenager Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul in the first singles match at 3:30 p.m. while Arcilla collides with Udomchoke at 6 p.m.

The decisive doubles will be played tomorrow while the reverse singles will be on Sunday.
The winner of this Asia Oceania Zone Group II semifinal tie will meet the winner between New Zealand and Pakistan.

Both Gonzales and Arcilla are excited with their roles, saying they have long been waiting for this kind of break in their respective careers.

“Excited ako sa match na ito. Matagal ko na itong hinihintay na makalaro si Danai kasi napapanood ko na siya noon pa nung nakakalaban niya si Cecil,” said Arcilla, referring to former PH No. 1 player and Davis Cupper Cecil Mamiit.

Udomchoke, who will turn 32 in August, has been playing for the Thailand Davis Cup team since 1998 and has won 39 singles matches against 16 losses.

“Hopefully it will be a good tie for us, considering that we are rebuilding this young team. I believe in this team and we will try our best,” said Udomchoke, a 2006 Doha Asian Games gold medalist.

Though he’s 10 years senior over his opponent, the 27-year-old Gonzales won’t take Wishaya lightly, saying he will give his all to provide the momentum the country needs in its bid to end a two-tie losing streak to the Thais.


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