Friday, July 8, 2011

Davis Cup: Philippines vs. New Zealand

Today, our tennis national team embarks on its own journey, for country, for tennis, and perhaps for recognition they long deserved.

It's Philippines vs. New Zealand in the 1st round of the Asia-Oceana Davis Cup Zone to be held down under in the "land of the sheep." The Davis Cup is the Olympics of tennis where even top tennis stars, like Rafael Nadal, play for their country.

Victory over the Kiwis will send our team to the next stage of the elimination while a loss will put it in a delicate knock-out stage with Chinese-Taipei. Another loss would relegate the team from the higher seeding of Group I to Group II.

In recent years, our players struggled but successful in placing our standing one notch higher to Group I, so this game is crucial. Our team will be bannered once again by Fil-Am Cecil Mamiit, who since 2005, was at the forefront of our tennis victories, not only in Davis Cup competitions but also in other international events like Asian and SEA Games.

During his prime years in the US, Mamiit was considered one of the rising young top stars of the US and holds the distinction of having once beaten tennis great Andrei Agassi in a US tournament. Our strength will somehow be dampened by the absence of veteran doubles specialist, Fil-Am Treat Huey who is competing in a US tournament, hoping to improve on his world rankings.

The rest of the team is composed of the most veteran Johnny Arcilla, journeyman Ruben Gonzales, and teenage sensation pride of Iligan City, Jeson Patrombon, the country's No.1 Juniors champion and currently ranked in the top 10 of the junior world rankings.

The Kiwis, on the other hand, have a revamped line-up, putting in more younger players in their team. If it's any consolation, the Philippines holds a 4-1 head to head advantage, the last two victories scored just in recent years.

Go go go Team Philippines!    


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