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Davis Cup: Alcantara, Gonzales gives Philippines life with clinical doubles win

By: Kristoffer Ed Bellen

MANILA--Veteran Davis Cup players Francis Casey Alcantara and Ruben Gonzales gave the Philippines an additional ounce of hope after beating Petros Tsitsipas and Markos Kalovelonis, 7-6(5), 6-4 in the crucial doubles rubber of their Davis Cup World Group II Playoff tie at the Philippine Columbian Association center court on Saturday.

Alcantara and Gonzales had a slow start in the second set after trailing by 1-3 but managed to regain momentum to level at 3-3 and has since never looked back to close out the match in 1 hour and 54 minutes and record the Philippines' first victory in the two-day tie.

"It's always an honor to get chosen for Davis Cup so to be back after here after three years, it feels awesome to get the win. My partner played really well and I am glad we won and give us a chance to keep moving forward," Gonzales said after the post-match press conference.

"Yung crowd, it pumped me, it pumped Ruben. We were down [at times] 0-40 sa first set then we were down din sa second set but because of the crowd, yung fighting spirit namin was sealed there. We fought every point out, every game out," Alcantara added.

Both teams played par-by-par during the initial six games of the match by holding serve in each of their first three service games before they exchange breaks up to the first set tiebreaker.

The 2017 SEA Games silver medalists won 79 of the match's points but it was in the service department where the Philippines really put the damage as they just surrendered two service games while also winning 67% (45-of-67) of their service points as well as tallying four service aces .

The Philippines will bank on the country's number one Jeson Patrombon next as he faces world number six Stefanos Tsitsipas in the first reverse singles rubber..

Follow him on Twitter: @KristoffBellen.