* This is Part 2 of the feature on Cebuana Lhuillier Sports Ambassadors-RP Davis Cuppers Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales on Juice.PH.

* Learn more about their lives inside and outside the tennis court – from their pre-game rituals to their favorite Filipino foods.

For more photos, visit the Juice.PH website: http://www.Juice.ph/buhaypinoy/features/treat-huey-and-ruben-gonzales-the-final-set




By: Therese Reyes | Posted: June 30, 2014

Now that people have started to don white ensembles and travelled to London to watch Wimbledon, we thought that there's no better way to say goodbye to June but to give you more of our conversation with Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales. This is the final set of questions so take your seats at center court, clap in unison, and get to know the future of Philippine Tennis a little more.

Juice:So, when did you start playing for the Philippines?

Treat Huey: I started 2009.

Ruben Gonzales:I started 2010.

Juice:So, how did it start? How did you go about it?

Treat:Well, one of the top players, Cecil Mamiit, I knew and one of the people Randy Villanueva contacted me about playing Davis Cup, and so I was like, "yeah I'd love to." So I showed up in February 2009, and I played Davis Cup.

Juice:And how many tournaments do you do in a year?

Treat:25 and 35

Ruben:I travelled, like, 35 weeks last year.

Juice:So you're never home?

Treat:Yeah

Juice:What's it like, just going out all the time?

Ruben:I'm used to it now

Treat: It's tough, yeah, but it's fun, too, travelling all over the world.

Ruben:I miss my dad, though. I miss, like, DVR. I'm not able to watch that. Oh, I miss that.

Juice:How about you? (to Treat)

Treat:I miss staying at home. I haven't slept in the same bed for more than a week.

Juice:Ah, what's your favorite city?

Ruben:Manila

Treat:Melbourne, Australia

Juice:Why?

Treat:I don't know. I really like it. There's so many things to do, so many nice restaurants, many places to go out to, like, there's so many chill places to hang out to have dinner.

Juice:Is there a specific place?

Treat:I'll just go all over Australia.

Juice:How about you, Manila? Really?

Ruben:I really like it in Manila, but other than Manila, Guadalajara, Mexico or Magangué, Colombia.

Juice:Filipino food that you crave for?

Ruben:Crispy pata.

Juice:Really?.

Ruben:I like it a lot, yeah. I ate it four times last week.

Treat:Longganisa.

Juice:Longganisa from where?

Treat: I don't know. I only got them from Rufo's because they deliver. But other than that, I don't know. My mom always made the best longganisa when I was a kid, so that's why I crave for it.

Juice:That's nice. What kind of longganisa, the sweet one? The spicy one?

Treat:Both. Yeah, mixed.

Juice:When did tennis become a full-time job for you?

Ruben:For me, I've wanted to be a pro tennis player ever since I remember. I started playing tennis when I was, like, three years old, so that's always been a dream of mine, and when I finished college, I became pro. Just like Treat's, it becomes a realization that, okay, now it's your job, you have to make a living. This is my means, and not just a game I play.

Juice:Was it difficult, because I know that's kind of an unconventional profession? How did you get into being really successful as a tennis player?

Treat:Syempre, for sure, especially the first two or three years, it was really tough. Just playing tennis, you're losing money the first two, three years, playing, travelling the world, playing smaller tournaments. Yeah, you always have the dream of making the big time grand slams, all the top fives, that's always been the dream for everybody, I think.

Ruben:Yeah, you sacrifice a lot. When he said the first two, three years, or four years, I mean, you're losing money every single week. You're cutting costs, staying at people's houses. I mean, you're trying so hard just to make prize money so that you could stay at a hotel longer, and fly, and all those kinds of things. I'm still obviously trying to get to the level he's (Treat's) at, and it's going well so far. I just always remember those times, especially the beginning.

Juice: What was your funniest match?

Ruben: In our whole lives?

Juice:Yes, your whole lives.

Ruben:The most fun match for me, I beat, maybe, Thailand last year. I won, I clinched the match and I beat a guy named Danai Udomchoke, and that was most fun because my family was there and it was in the Philippines, and all the fans got to see it and it's probably one of the biggest wins I've had, and what I kinda do at that situation was really fulfilling.

Treat:I think my first pro match, the Davis Cup, yeah. It was a great, great team to move up. It's something I'll remember forever for sure. It's the biggest accomplishment I've ever had.

Juice: Would you say those were the matches that turned your career into this? Were you like, "Yeah, I'm gonna do this for the rest of my life"?

Treat:I don't know. Maybe. Sometimes, in my mind, I would racket some of the matches I lost and just think about quitting, and "what am I doing playing tennis, I have no chance." The matches that made you work a little bit harder to make your dream come true or something like that, I think those are the ones you look back on and see that "I did it, I was able to do what I thought was impossible." I love it.

Ruben:I think that match gave me a lot of confidence as far as going forward. For me, it was a mental hurl that I felt like I jumped that and got over something that would make me do better for the rest of the year, and kinda like he said, it also reminded me why you play, because there are a lot of times you lose and you feel bad. That was one reason why I like this feeling that you want to recreate that's definitely with something that I hope not only you get to feel it again, but something you get more from.

Juice:Where do you get your tennis clothes?

Treat:A lot are from sponsors. They give us a lot of stuff to wear to matches everyday. So yeah, it's great for teams to have that. During the year, it's just a matter of what you want to wear day in and day out. And the outfits, they range from styles I guess.

Ruben:It also depends on if you're playing it at night or during the day. My partner before, it's like if we play at night, we'd do the blackout. We'd go all black, or during the day, you'll go all-white.

Juice:So what are your accessories?

Treat:I always wear a sweatband in my left hand, but other than that, sometimes, I wear a cap if it's sunny.

Ruben:Cap backwards.

Juice: Any rituals before a match?

Treat: For me, there's one. I always sit on the right chair. Like, when I'm sitting in the court, I'll be sitting in his right side, when we're playing together, and like during the points, but in between the points, just walking around, I never stop in the lines. I don't know why. I'm a little crazy I guess, but I never do it on purpose.

Juice: Are you the type who wears the same underwear?

Treat: No, I usually smell after I wear them once.

Ruben: I agree with that.

Treat: Clothing doesn't matter.

Juice: What are your rituals? (to Ruben)

Ruben: I don't shave my face or cut my nails, if I win the first round. Me and my partner, we wear the same thing, too.

Juice: After a successful match, do you have any celebration?

Treat: I think if you win a tournament or something, my friends and I have to treat everyone to a nice dinner or something like that.

Ruben: Same, definitely, a night out if you win a tournament, but like what you said, it's pretty rare, but some of the wins, like the Davis Cup when we were together, definitely a night out somewhere in the Philippines or where we are if we win.

Juice: When you want to relax for a day, what do you do?

Treat: I can sit on my couch and watch TV shows and movies all day long.

Juice: What TV shows do you like?

Treat: The Walking Dead

Ruben: Gossip Girl

Treat: No! Philippine Big Brother. A lot of different shows. I watched Walking Dead recently and Game of Thrones. I just started Game of Thrones.

Ruben: Suits. Best show.

Juice: So you do the same to relax?

Ruben: Yeah, I literally could sleep all day. If you don't wake me up, I won't wake up until 2 PM, which has been pretty tough this week, since you gotta wake up early. Well, yeah, watch movies, shows. I also listen to a lot of music. Tons of music.

Juice: What is the normal athlete's diet?

Treat: You wanna eat healthy and stay really disciplined. But in weekend and stuff, I eat something that I want.

Ruben: I recommend eating whatever makes you feel good and pretty good. If it makes you feel good, it gives you more motivation to continue.

Juice: Do you work out regularly?

Ruben: I run a lot. Run and bike a lot. That's another thing I like to do in the cities. Go for a run in the city and kinda see what there is. I think it's a good way to kinda get familiar with the area and stuff, and it's something I really enjoy doing. And, I actually feel like after playing tennis, I'd love to do marathons because I enjoy those things. I'm not a good swimmer yet, but the other two, I think I'm pretty good at.

Juice: Any workout playlists?

Ruben: Eminem.

Treat: I think it depends on the day. Being in the gym, they play really slow relaxing music, and I still work out. It depends on my mood.

Ruben: So you go to the gym regularly?

Treat: Yeah, kinda, to stay fit. I do a lot of rehab to my shoulders, my back, and my knees.

Ruben: I've been getting into yoga lately. I'm enjoying it. Actually, while I'm here, I'm trying Bikram yoga in Eastwood. I'm not naturally flexible, but it's a fun project. I like the benefits of it. I wish I could do it regularly.

Juice: Any other sports you want to try?

Treat: I've always wanted to go scuba diving or something like that. I've always wanted to swim with the whale sharks or something cool like that. I've never done that, but I want to.

Ruben: Surfing.

Juice: What do you think of the support of everyone in the Philippines?

Ruben: I think it's been awesome, like, I think 2,000 of my Facebook friends are Filipinos that I've never met before. It's cool, them not even knowing you and then messaging you saying that they really watch you play and continually support you. I think that part is cool and you're able to form relationships, hopefully, with them and even when you're not in the Philippines, them wanting to check in and see how you're doing, I think that part is cool. And obviously, with Cebuana Lhuillier, they made this all possible and I can't thank them enough for everything.

Treat: Cebuana has done so much for tennis, Philippine tennis, and PHILTA, me and our group thank you so much, and we want to continue to do better and move up and make tennis bigger and bigger in the Philippines. That's our goal, and hopefully we could do that. We've got lots of fans and we love all the support we get. We want to make tennis something that's more and more out there, and mainstream.

Juice: What's it like to play in the Grand Slam tournaments?

Treat: It's been everything I thought it would be. My first Grand Slam, I played Wimbledon, which is, maybe, my biggest tournament. I played four now. Three years ago, I played Wimbledon, I was in qualifying, and I was so nervous. For my partner, it wasn't such a big deal, but for me it was.

Juice: How does it feel to play in the same court as Nadal and Federer?

Treat: Yeah, it's cool, I mean, I haven't played against them, in, like, a match, but I think it would be really fun to play them.

Juice: What do you think is different in playing doubles? What made you choose to play doubles?

Treat: I've always liked doubles a lot more. I was always a lot better in doubles since I was 16, and somehow, I just kept playing doubles and trying to play doubles professionally, and I've been doing it pretty well.

Ruben: Kinda the same. I've always had more success in doubles than in singles obviously. Sometimes, your ego is like "Oh, I wanna be a singles player”, so you could play by yourself. But I think some tennis players are like that. You grow up playing a sport like this, your ego gets kinda involved, like you wanna have all the attention, but then the other side of it is, like, you have more success in playing doubles, like, the team aspect, then I'd rather do the team aspect. It's kinda cool you get to share with someone else, you depend on him and he depends on you. And that's kinda cool, so yeah, like he said, since he just always had more success in playing doubles, it's pretty much a natural progression.

Juice: When you're not feeling it [playing tennis], what do you do?

Treat: Tennis is really tough. You lose every week and so you're pretty disappointed or down at the end of every week. It's been going on every year, so it's one of those things you try to forget about, have confidence and believe that next week, you'll do better and keep practicing and working on what you think should be done.

Ruben: I think a lot of it is perspective, you know? You lose, and you can take it as, "OK, I lost. I suck," or you take it as, "OK, I need to improve on those things," and if you do it for those things, good things happen. It's your choice.