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PH Cuppers face Indons

By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA

Philippine tennis faces its first test in the international scene this year when its Davis Cup team battles Southeast Asian rival Indonesia in the opening round of the Asia Oceania Zone Group II competitions.

The usual three-day affair was shortened into two days and is slated Feb. 3 and 4 at the Gelora Bung Karo Tennis Stadium Complex in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The Philippines, which enters the year ranked No. 51, has long been campaigning to regain its Group I status since losing it in 2012.

It is not the first time that the PH team will clash with Indonesia. On paper, the Indonesians are ahead with six tie victories out of 11 outings.

But the Filipino netters boast of a recent tie win – a 4-1 triumph last year’s first round held in Manila, which was spearheaded by Fil-Ams Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales.

That win arranged the PH team a second-round meeting with Thailand two months later, only to succumb 5-0 that ended its bid of making it into the Group I.

The absence of Huey, Gonzales and Francis Casey Alcantara in that tie match over Thailand was a big blow to the PH team, and until now, it remains unclear if the trio would return to lead the squad.

The Philippine Tennis Association will announce this year’s lineup and coach late this month, with AJ Lim, PJ Tierro and Jeson Patrombon among the list of candidates.

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