Jeson Patrombon pulled off a 6-3, 6-2, 7-6 (4) victory over Cyril Jacobe while Fil-Am Treat Conrad Huey overpowered Michael Leong, 6-0, 6-3, 6-2, as Cebuana Lhuillier-Philippines swept the first two singles matches to go 2-0 in their Asia Oceania Zone Group II Davis Cup tie at the University of St. Anthony Forum here yesterday.
Patrombon, 18, bucked a slow start and a shaky finish to dismantle Jacobe in a two-and-a-half-hour encounter and record his first big win in a promising Davis Cup career.
Against Jacobe, he picked up his game late before seizing the opening set then dominated the second but nearly self-destructed in the third, needing to survive a tiebreaker to complete the straight-set victory in the first singles match.
“It’s good to win my first and biggest Davis Cup match and I dedicate this to our country and countrymen,” said Patrombon, who split his first two non-bearing Cup matches, losing to a New Zealand rival and winning over a higher-ranked Jimmy Wang of Chinese Taipei in the Phl’s 2-3 loss in Group I relegation tie in Cebu City last year.
“At first there were some pressure but as I go along the match, I started to relax and feel the game,” he added.
Huey proved too much for Leong late in the day, yielding just five games to complete the rout.
In contrast, Patrombon scrambled in the early going, enabling Jacobe, a silver medalist in the Oceania Games, to hold serve three times.
But the Iligan City native finally broke Jacobe in the eighth game to go 5-3 then went on to clinch the win for the team outfitted by Accel and backed by Cebuana Lhuillier and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Patrombon and Jacobe held their first three serves in the third frame then broke each other in their next three to force a tiebreaker.
But Patrombon dished out a solid baseline play to dominate the 28-year-old Jacobe in the tiebreaker, wrapping up the match with a smash off a Jacobe lob shot to the delight of the appreciative crowd that included Mayor Madel Alfelor Gazmen, tennis chief Edwin Olivarez, University of St. Anthony president Nonoy Ortega and Phl Davis Cup administrator Randy Villanueva.
“It’s an unbelievable feeling winning this match in front of my countrymen, I can’t describe it,” said Patrombon.
The doubles match, which pits Fil-Am Ruben Gonzales and Johnny Arcilla against Jacobe and Daniel Llarenas, whose father Cesar hails from Pangasinan, is set at 7 p.m. tonight while the reverse singles matches, if necessary, are scheduled tomorrow.
The winner of the tie will face the victory of the Pakistan-Lebanon duel for a chance to get into another match for a crack at Group I.
“The team has always been my priority, nothing as changed,” said former spearhead and now non-playing team captain Cecil Mamiit.