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Gonzales starts PH bid vs Taiwanese

Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales hopes to concoct the antidote the Philippine Davis Cup team badly needs as he spearheads the country’s campaign against Taiwan at the start of their Asia Oceania Zone Group II second round tie today at the Philippine Columbian Association (PCA) claycourt in Paco, Manila.

The Filipinos are hard-pressed to duplicate their 5-0 whitewash of the Kuwaitis in the first round last March as Taiwan has far deeper bench.

The Taiwanese, for one, are coming off a 4-1 win over the Malaysians and will meet the Filipinos knowing they have beaten the hosts in their last three meetings.

Ruben Gonzales hopes to deliver the first singles win for the Filipino Davis Cuppers. (File photo /2016.mb.com.ph)

Ruben Gonzales hopes to deliver the first singles win for the Filipino Davis Cuppers.
(File photo /2016.mb.com.ph)

That streak of setbacks should be shattered if they want to get back in the elite Group I cast.

Nominated as the No. 2 player of the team, Gonzales battles Taiwan’s No. 1 Ti Chen at 3 p.m. while No. 1 Francis Casey Alcantara collides with Huang Liang-Chi at5 p.m.

This will be the first time in three years that Gonzales, 30, will kick off the country’s bid.

 “Obviously, we hate losing. But we’ll try to be as competitive as we can because Chinese Taipei is a tough team,” said Gonzales, who has been actively competing in Futures and Challenger tournaments.

Aside from focusing in doubles competition, Gonzales is the obvious underdog in the match since Chen is ranked No. 227 in the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) singles.

Alcantara is also aware of the tough task ahead that’s why he vowed to give his best shot.

Tomorrow’s doubles action pit Grand Slam regular Treat Huey and Jeson Patrombon against Hung Jui-Chen and Wang Chieh-Fu at 3 p.m., while Sunday’s reverse singles start at 1 p.m. with Alcantara battling Chen, and Gonzales meeting Huang.