MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Davis Cup team will have its hands full when it plays Indonesia in the Asia-Oceania Zone Group 2 matchup on Sept. 14-16 in Jakarta.
The Philippines has lost four times in its last five ties with the Indonesians, the last one being a painful 4-1 defeat at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center in 2000.
The winner of this tie moves up to Group 1 in 2013 while the loser stays in Group 2.
“This is the last tie of the year and whoever wins makes it to Group 1,” said Filipino non-playing team captain Roland Kraut during yesterday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“This is not the first time we’re facing them. It’s just that they play harder in their homecourt,” added Kraut who was joined in the forum by head coach Cris Cuarto.
The Philippine team, backed by Cebuana Lhuillier, will be composed of US-based Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, Jeson Patrombon and Francis Casey Alcantara.
The Indonesians, enjoying a slight 5-4 edge over the Filipinos in their heads-on duel in the Davis Cup, will rely on Christopher Rungkat, Elbert Sie, David Susanto, Aditya Sasongko and Wisnu Adi Nugroho.
Rungkat is the reigning SEA Games champion while Rungkat is a former gold medalist in the biennial meet. He and Sie beat Huey and Cecil Mamiit for the gold in SEAG doubles in 2011.
“I think we have the advantage because all four of our players can play the singles and doubles,” said Cuarto during the forum also sponsored by Smart and Pagcor.
The Filipinos will only get to practice when they get to Indonesia because Huey is coming off a stint in the US Open while Gonzales is competing in Austria.
Huey and Gonzales will arrive in Manila on Sunday, the same day the team flies out of Manila.
“We’re hopeful that we can beat the Indonesians this time,” said Alcantara.
“We know who our opponents are. We’ve played them before. I can say we have a good chance here,” said Patrombon.