Prior to the start of the competition in the men’s doubles event in tennis, Nino Alcantara said he was looking forward to a possible all- Filipino finals featuring him and partner Jeson Patrombon and top seed and US-based Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales.
Alcantara, who together with Treat and Gonzales are all Cebuana Lhuillier’s Sports Ambassadors, not only saw that wish come true but got more as he and Patrombon duplicated what they did in the Kuala Lumpur Open last month which the duo won.
The Filipino duo carved out a nail-biting 7-6 , 7-5 victory over the favored Huey and Gonzales highlighted by a game-winning volley by Patrombon in the second set to seal the match, and the gold medal.
“It was good to know that whoever wins still means a gold for the Philippines and the match really could have gone either way,” said an elated Jean Henri Lhuillier, president of Unified Tennis Philippines and Cebuana Lhuillier.
“But I congratulate both teams for their superb performance, all our efforts in providing them support paid off with this 1-2 finish for the Philippines,” he added.
With that gold medal, tennis improved on its last SEA Games performance, when it took only one silver in Malaysia in 2017 and two bronze medals in 2015.
“The game could have gone either way for sure, we were both gunning for the gold but it was definitely good knowing that either way, the Philippines would win the gold,” said Alcantara.
“I give tribute to my partner Jeson for this victory, and to Treat and Ruben, they really pushed us to be at our best in the match,” added Alcantara after the match.
On his part, Gonzales said “we were evenly matched, we have played each other a lot that we know each other’s games, but then what is important was that the country got the gold, and the silver too.”
“I said before the match that it will be tough as both teams want to win the gold and whoever plays better on the actual game will win, I am happy with the result as the team delivered the gold in the end,” Huey said.