MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Ams Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales blew a first-set victory and lost to Indonesia's Christopher Rungkit and Elbert Sie, 6-4, 3-6, 6-7(5), 2-6, to give the host team a 2-1 lead in their Asia-Oceania Zone Group II final Davis Cup tie in Jakarta yesterday.
The Filipinos now need to sweep the reverse singles pitting Huey against Indonesia No. 1 Rungkit and Casey Alcantara versus Indonesia No. 2 Sie today to keep their hopes of moving up to Group 1.
While the Phl is expected to field in Huey against Rungkit, who has a higher world singles rankings of 292 against the former, the Filipinos could opt to stick with Alcantara or go with a fresh Jeson Patrombon or a power-hitting Gonzales.
Alcantara, a former world junior standout who has tried his luck in the US NCAA Division I Fresno State, dropped his singles match to Rungkit, 6-7(3), 2-6, 6-3, 0-6, in Friday’s first singles match.
Thankfully, Huey knotted the count by making short work of Sie, 6-4, 6-2, 6-3, in the other singles.
Then the Filipinos ran into the tough Indonesian pair of Rungkit and Sie, who copped the 2011 Southeast Asian Games gold medal by beating Huey and another Fil-Am Cecil Mamiit.
With Huey replacing Patrombon at the last minute to team up with Gonzales, the Phl gained the early momentum when they took the first set.
Rungkit and Sie took charge and won the next three sets, including the third when the Indonesians barely edged the former in the pulsating tiebreaker.
If the Filipinos lose in this tie they will stay in Group II for a year.
Phl Davis Cup administrator Randy Villanueva said Huey hurt his shoulders after beating Sie in the singles.
"Treat Huey played hurt from his singles match as he has a sore shoulder and couldn’t serve 100 percent unlike in his singles game," said Villanueva via e-mail.