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PH Cuppers lose to Thais

Distracted by the leadership row and handicapped by the absence of three key players, the Philippine Davis Cup dropped its crucial doubles match in its Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie with Thailand, ending the country’s return bid in the elite Group I next year in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

Veterans Jeson Patrombon and PJ Tierro gave their all in the doubles, hoping they can provide the spark needed to keep their hopes alive after the team lost the first two singles matches last Friday.

Without chemistry, the two suffered a 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 to Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana, giving the Thais an unbeatable 3-0 lead.

The loss rendered today’s reverse singles matches non-bearing.

Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul gave Thailand a 1-0 lead after beating top junior player AJ Lim, 7-6 (2), 6-4, 6-2, before Jirat Navasirisomboon turned back Patrombon, 2-6, 7-6 (4), 6-1, 6-1.

The win enabled Thailand to arrange a final round meeting with Pakistan in September, with the winning squad advancing in Group I next year.

Today’s dead rubbers pit Wishaya against Patrombon starting at 10 a.m., followed by Jirat over Lim.

The absence of top players Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, and Francis Casey Alcantara hurt the team’s bid as the three were reportedly sympathetic to the camp of Jean Henri Lhuillier.