THE Philippine Davis Cup team offered no excuses following its loss to Thailand in their Davis Cup Asia Oceania Group II tie held here over the weekend.
Coach Chris Cuarto admitted lack of exposure and experience factored in the Filipinos’ 4-1 setback at the hands of the visitors during the tie at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) clay courts in Plaza Dilao, Manila.
“In the end, it’s the maturity and the level of competition that you play the whole year that makes them (Thais) much better than us,” said Cuarto during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Tapa King Restaurant at Farmers Market in Cubao on Tuesday.
Cuarto was with Davis Cup members Jeson Patrombon, veteran Johnny Arcilla, and Francis Casey Alcantara during the session presented by San Miguel Corp., Tapa King, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
Only Patrombon managed to eke out a victory for Team Philippines with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Jirat Navasirimboon during the opening match.
It was downhill from there for the Filipinos.
Wisaya Trongcharoenchaikul beat Brian Otico, 6-3, 6-4, before twins Sanchai and Sonchat Ratiwatana downed Arcilla and Alcantara in doubles, 4-6, 7-6 (7-3), 6-1.
The 6-foot-1 Trongcharoenchaikul clinched the tie for the Thais with a 6-4, 1-6, 7-5 win over Patrombon after bombing the Filipino with 11 aces. Palaphoom Kovapitukted capped the visitors’ conquest of the host by turning back Otico in the final match, 6-4, 6-3.
“It was a tight match I would say, but towards the end it came up to experiences and exposure,” said Cuatro.
The national coach also noted the late inclusion of Otico in the lineup in lieu of the injured AJ Lim.
“He (AJ) felt something on his shoulder. We try to fix it and find remedy to the shoulder until the nomination and the draw. But as a coach, I would want to field in a player who’s 100 percent fit than a player who’s very good but only 50 percent fit,” said Cuatro.
Right now, the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) under president Atty. Antonio Cablitas is planning to have the players see action in more competitions abroad especially with the Asian Games just three months away.
“Our president (Philta) acknowledged naman what happened in our play against the Thais,” said Cuarto. “He’s really trying to put up funding for these players to go around Asia to play more tournaments, more exposure.”