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Gonzales, Lim lead tennis campaign

by Rey Bancod

KUALA LUMPUR – Ruben Gonzales said on Sunday that he would play tennis as long as his body allows, but would like to have his own tennis academy once he decides to hang up his rackets.

The 31-year-old Fil-American, who plays mostly in doubles in Challenger circuits in the United States, said he’s looking forward to play in the 29th Southeast Asian Games with new partner Francis Casey Alcantara.

“Of course, we will miss Treat (Huey), but we understand he needs to play the US Open which is in conflict with the Games,” said Gonzales.

Gonzales remains a bachelor, although he has a girlfriend in race car driver Michelle Bumgarner.

He arrived Saturday along with his teammates, including rookie AJ Lim who will play singles along with Jeson Patrombon.

Lim, an 18-year-old standout of the University of the East, took the place of Treat in the team. He got the call while training under three-time SEAG singles champion Cecil Mamiit in the United States.

“The Games would be good exposure as I prepare to play in Futures tournaments in the US and Asia,” said Lim who is taking up business management.

He said UE has been supportive of his tennis career that it allows him to continue his studies while training and campaigning abroad.

“They gave me modules through Internet and allow me to take tests online,” said Lim.

Games will be played in hard courts which both Gonzales and Lim welcome.

Tennis has been played since 1959 when it what used to be known as the Southeast Asian Peninsular Games. The only time it was not played was in 2013.

Only three countries have won gold medals, namely: Thailand and Indonesia with 11 each and the Philippines with six.

Two years ago, the Philippines won the gold in mixed doubles courtesy of Denise Dy and Huey.

Tennis action begins on Monday with singles and doubles matches in both men’s and women’s divisions at the National Tennis Center in Jalan Dula.