2023 SEA Games: Alcantara & Gonzales win men’s tennis doubles crown

Congratulations, PHL men’s tennis doubles for winning the gold medal! (Above the Philippines Facebook account)

By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña

Filipinos Francis Casey Alcantara and Ruben Gonzales pulled off a come-from-behind win to snatch the gold medal away from the Indonesian national team- 2.6, 7.5, 10.5- to rule the men’s lawn tennis doubles category in the ongoing Southeast Asian Games last May 13, 2023, held at the Morodok Techo National Stadium’s Tennis Arena in Cambodia.

The PHL duo survived a disappointing first set after getting hounded by several unforced errors which was quickly capitalized by Indonesia.

However, the veteran smarts and international experience of Alcantara and Gonzales rose to the occasion and helped them chip away the lead midway through the following set.

After bucking a slow start in the net area, the Filipino netters flipped the switch in the second set and started to regain their rhythm in the smashing department.

Aside from their unstoppable offense, their chemistry kicked off their blazing comeback as their serve-and-volley plays neutralized Indonesia’s baseline hitting prowess.

Indonesia attempted to establish their own version of a comeback after making things interesting in the tiebreaker third set when they managed to go toe-to-toe with the Filipinos in the net exchange.

The PHL 1-2 punch then closed the show after prevailing in several long rallies including a crucial backhand winner from Alcantara to give them a three-point lead.

With the huge win, the PHL tennis doubles team won the event for the third-straight time in the biennial sporting event.

Last 2019, an All-Filipino showdown featuring Treat Huey, Jeson Patrombon, Alcantara, and Gonzalez treated the Rizal Memorial Tennis when the PHL hosted the SEAG.

The following edition was then repeated as the four mentioned Filipino tennis superstars met again in the grand finals.