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Alcantara, Patrombon bag men’s tennis doubles gold


Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon outlasted the more experienced Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, 7-6 (2), 7-5, to capture the men’s doubles gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games tennis competition at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center.

Francis Alcantara makes a return shot as Jeson Patrombon watches. (Rio Deluvio)

Francis Alcantara makes a return shot as Jeson Patrombon watches. (Rio Deluvio)

Alcantara and Patrombon, both former top local junior champions, erased a 5-3 deficit in the opening set to prevail in the all-Filipino final.

Huey and Gonzales, the top seed in the field, settled for silver.

“Unbelievable feeling,” said Alcantara. “They’re (Huey and Gonzales) great players. They’re our teammates in the Davis Cup, but it just feels good to win the gold for the first time.”

In the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition, Alcantara teamed up with Gonzales and settled for the men’s double silver.

“I think it’s a start of a great partnership,” said Alcantara, a native of Cagayan de Oro.

Though up against their Davis Cup teammates, Patrombon admitted he was nervous a bit.

Good thing, he overcame it.

“First time din kasi naming mag-final kaya may konting kaba rin sa simula,” the Iligan native said.

Alcantara couldn’t imagine that he finally achieved his dream of winning the gold medal, recalling that he wanted to be part of the national team while watching the 2005 Manila SEAG then topbilled by Cecil Mamiit and Eric Taino.

Unseeded in the tournament, Alcantara and Patrombon never dropped a set with victories over Timor Leste’s Patricio Jose Ferreira and Antonio Mendes, 6-1, 6-1; third seed David and Anthony Susanto of Indonesia, 6-4, 6-0; and Vietnam’s Daniel Cao Nguyen and Van Phuong Nguyen, 6-3, 6-1.

The Philippine team ended the biennial meet with one gold and one silver, surpassing its two silver and two bronze medal haul in 2017.