by Kristel Satumbaga
The Philippine Davis Cup team failed to deliver the needed victories yesterday and succumbed to Thailand, 3-1, in their Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie at the Philippine Columbian Association claycourt in Paco, Manila.
Francis Casey Alcantara and Johnny Arcilla were first to bow down in the crucial doubles match with a 4-6, 7-6 (3), 6-1 loss to Thai twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana before Jeson Patrombon was beaten by a more-experienced Wishaya Trongcharoenchaikul, 6-4, 1-6, 7-5.
The second reverse singles, which is being played at presstime pitting Bryan Otico and Palaphoom Kovapitukted were rendered non-bearing.
Both teams split Saturday’s singles assignments, 1-1, with Patrombon prevailing over Jirat Navasirisomboon, 6-2, 6-2, and Otico losing to Wishaya, 6-3, 6-4.
The PH Cuppers, however, failed to gain the needed momentum towards the final day.
So critical were the doubles match where Alcantara and Arcilla lost their momentum in the second-set tiebreak after the Ratiwatanas cruised to an early 3-0 lead.
Patrombon, for his part, hung tough against the power-serving Wishaya, even breaking the Thai’s serve twice in the second frame.
But the 6-foot-4 Wishaya displayed composure in the end game, holding his serve throughout the deciding set.
Wishaya overpowered Patrombon throughout the two hour, 20-minute match, unloading 11 aces against three double faults and winning two breakpoints.
PH team Chris Cuarto credited his players’ resilience and determination despite the tie defeat.