EXPECTATIONS are high for the Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippine Davis Cup team which begins its 2016 campaign against Kuwait in their Asia-Oceania Group II tie next week.
The Filipino netters take on the Kuwaitis at home in the first round of the tie set from March 4-6 at the Valle Verde Country Club in Pasig City.
Treat Huey, ranked No. 35 in the world in men’s doubles, leads the Filipino players who have been nominated to play against the visitors, along with Ruben Gonzales, former world juniors No. 9 Jeson Patrombon, and 2009 Australian Open juniors champion Francis Casey Alcantara.
Karl Santamaria, current head coach of the National University tennis team, has been appointed as new non-playing captain of the Filipino Davis Cuppers.
No less than team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier expressed confidence the team has what it takes to put up a strong showing this year in the hope of returning to Group I play.
“I think we have assembled the strongest team in recent years. It’s a great combination of experience and youth,” Lhuillier said.
“All of them have been campaigning actively and have been producing great results in recent international competitions the past months. All players can both play singles and doubles which will make it hard for our opponent to prepare for us. I strongly believe we will emerge victorious in this upcoming match versus Kuwait.”
Huey is fresh from a quarterfinal finish in the Australian Open mixed doubles competition, while Gonzales has been campaigning in the United States and Europe.
Patrombon, meanwhile, is a regular fixture in the ITF Futures tournaments in Asia since last year and will be playing along with Alcantara, who made a great run to finish second in the ITF Challenger tournament in Manila.