FRANCIS Casey Alcantara and Jeson Patrombon beat Ruben Gonzales and Treat Huey, 7-6 (6-2), 7-5, to win the men's doubles gold medal in the 30th Southeast Asian Games tennis competitions on Saturday.
The unseeded pair of Alcantara and Patrombon outlasted their top-ranked compatriots in a close match before a capacity crowd at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center that featured exciting exchanges and a thrilling finish.
Both teams exchanged breaks in the second set before Alcantara and Patrombon, known in the tennis circuit as 'Bisdak' due to their Mindanao roots, pulled ahead, 6-5, and got to matchpoint at 0-40, only to see Gonzales and Huey forced deuce.
Alcantara fell to the hardcourt in glee as Patrombon hugged him when Gonzales netted a forehand volley return at matchpoint.
It was the first gold medal for Alcantara and Patrombon in the SEA Games.
“Sobrang happy and thankful. Kudos to Treat and Ruben, they played really well, too. Alam naman natin sa finals, isa lang mananalo and luckily we won,” said Alcantara.
“Sa umpisa, nape-pressure din kami,” Patrombon said. “Maski teammates namin kalaban namin, nakaka-pressure pa rin. First time namin mag-finals."
Alcantara and Patrombon were already up, 3-1, in the second set after a break but Huey and Gonzales responded with a break of their own to set up the tight finish.