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Gonzales evens Davis Cup tie with Sri Lanka

By Joey Villar

MANILA, Philippines - Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales downed Sri Lanka’s Dineshkanthan Thangarajah, 6-3, 6-3, 6-0, to preserve a 1-1 tie in the Philippines’ Group II Davis Cup Asia-Oceania tie in Colombo, Sri Lanka yesterday.

The win saved the day for the Filipinos after PJ Tierro dropped a heartbreaking 6-3, 6-7, 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 loss to Harshana Godamanna in the first opening singles match.

Non-playing Phl team coach Roland Kraut opted to field in Tierro instead of Fil-Am Treat Conrad Huey, the country’s best player, who made the quarterfinals of the Australian Open a week ago.

It worked at first as Tierro took the second and third sets after dropping the first to seize a 2-1 lead.

But Tierro, who came in here as replacement to Francis Casey Alcantara, a tennis scholar at Pepperdine, dropped the last two, giving the Sri Lankans the1-0 edge.

Gonzales dominated Thangarajah to knot the count.

After a day’s rest, Huey gets into action as he is paired with Johnny Arcilla against Godamanna and Rajeev Rajapakse in the doubles today.

It’s possible that Huey may be paired with Gonzales since teams can change rosters an hour before the match.

Regardless of who his partner is, Huey is expected to blow away their foes since he is No. 21 in the Association of Tennis Professionals rankings.

The Filipinos blew their chance of re-entering Group I for the first time in three years after losing to New Zealand in a heated showdown at the Plantation Bay Resorts and Spa a year ago.