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Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales hopes to concoct the antidote the Philippine Davis Cup team badly needs as he spearheads the country’s campaign against Taiwan at the start of their Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie today at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) claycourt in Paco, Manila.
The Filipinos Cuppers are hard-pressed to duplicate their 5-0 whitewash of the Kuwaitis in the first round last March owing to Taiwan’s deeper bench.
The Taiwanese, for one, are also coming off an inspiring 4-1 win over the Malaysians aside from owning the bragging rights of having beaten the Filipino Cuppers in their last three meetings.
That curse should be shattered if they want to get back in the elite Group I cast.
Nominated as the No. 2 player of the team, Gonzales should rise to the challenge as he battles Taiwan’s No. 1 Ti Chen at 3 p.m. while No. 1 Francis Casey Alcantara collides with Huang Liang-Chi at 5 p.m.
This will be the first time in three years that Gonzales, 30, will kick off the country’s bid.
“Obviously, we hate losing. But we’ll try to be as competitive as we can because Chinese Taipei is a tough team,” said Gonzales, who has been actively competing in Futures and Challenger tournaments.
Aside from focusing in doubles competition, Gonzales is the obvious underdog in the match since Chen is ranked No. 227 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles.
Alcantara is also aware of the tough task ahead that’s why he vowed to give his best shot.