By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Team Philippines is sure of bringing home its first tennis gold medal from Hanoi, Vietnam.
That’s because Davis Cup veterans arranged an all-Filipino final in the men’s doubles with straight-set wins over their Vietnamese semifinal rivals Friday in the 31st Southeast Asian Games.
Francis Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon bested Quoc Khanh Le and Van Phuong Nguyen, 6-4, 6-2, while Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales thumped Linh Giang Trinh and Minh Tuan Pham with a similar 6-4, 6-2 score to set up a duel for the gold medal.
It marks the second straight time that the two pairs will be battling for the gold.
Alcantara and Patrombon beat Huey and Gonzales in the 2019 editon.
Meantime, Alex Eala settled for a bronze medal in the singles event.
She lost to a more experienced Thai rival in Luksika Kumkhum, 6-4, 6-1.
Despite Eala’s defeat as a top seed, PH coach Chris Cuarto remained fully confident that the country’s rising star will soon have her time in the regional tournament.
“It’s going to be her time soon,” he said.