THE Philippine Davis Cup team will have its hands full when it plays Indonesia in the Asia-Oceania Zone Group 2 matchup from September 14 to 16 in Jakarta.
The Philippines has lost four times in its last five ties with the Indonesians, the last one a painful 1-4 defeat at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center in 2000.
The winner of the tie moves up to Group 1 in 2013 while the loser stays in Group 2.
“This is the last tie of the year and whoever wins makes it to Group 1,” said Filipino non-playing team captain Roland Kraut during Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
“This is not the first time we’re facing them. It’s just that they play harder in their homecourt,” added Kraut who was joined in the forum by head coach Cris Cuarto.
The Philippine team, backed by Cebuana Lhuillier, team manager Jean Henri Lhuillier, and Philta president Rep. Edwin Olivarez, will be composed of US-based Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales, Jeson Patrombon and Francis Casey Alcantara.
The Indonesians, enjoying a slight 5-4 edge over the Filipinos in their head-to-head duel in the Davis Cup, will rely on Christopher Rungkat, Elbert Sie, David Susanto, Aditya Sasongko and Wisnu Adi Nugroho.
Rungkat is the reigning Southeast Asian Games champion while Sie is a former gold medalist in the biennial meet. He and Sie beat Huey and Cecil Mamiit for the gold in SEAG doubles last year.
"I think we have the advantage because all four of our players can play the singles and doubles," said Cuarto during the forum.
The Filipinos will only get to practice when they get to Indonesia because Huey is coming off a stint in the US Open while Gonzales is competing in Austria.
Huey and Gonzales will arrive in Manila on Sunday, the same day the team flies out of Manila.
“We’re hopeful that we can beat the Indonesians this time,” said Alcantara.
“We know who our opponents are. We’ve played them before. I can say we have a good chance here,” said Patrombon.