SportsUAAP: Lady Paddlers advance to finals, Green Paddlers secure top seed
UAAP: Lady Paddlers advance to finals, Green Paddlers secure top seed
October 28, 2015
October 28, 2015

The DLSU Green Paddlers and Lady Paddlers continued to lord over the competition after the conclusion of the second round of the UAAP Season 78 Table Tennis tournament, which was held last October 25 and 27 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

Both teams emerged as the top seeds in their respective divisions at the end of the preliminary round, with the Green Paddlers securing a twice-to-beat advantage in the semifinals after placing first, while the Lady Paddlers obtained a seat in the finals after remaining undefeated in 14 matches.

DSC_0039 []

Back to their winning ways

To begin the second round of the tournament, the Green Paddlers took on the NU Bulldogs, who managed to secure one game before eventually falling to La Salle, 3-1.

After their win over NU, Walden Ledesma and Jet Yatco established an early 2-0 lead against the UP Fighting Maroons. Although UP managed to win the doubles game, Carlo Mateo clinched the fourth game to hand DLSU the win, 3-1.

In their third match, this time against the FEU Tamaraws, Abner Osorno of FEU succeeded in obtaining one set yet the Taft-based squad remained unfazed and won the match by taking the next three games. Finishing the first day on a high note, the Green Paddlers defeated the UE Red Warriors with a sweep, 3-0.

They continued to capitalize on their momentum on the second day as they took down the Ateneo Blue Eagles and the Adamson Soaring Falcons to set up a crucial match against then-league leader, the UST Growling Tigers.

During their second round finale versus the Growling Tigers, the Green Paddlers had to work for every point earned. Ledesma and Yatco were able to provide DLSU with another initial lead but Cabrido and E. Garganian failed to win the match against UST’s Pantoia and Abendan. Motivated to win the game, Mateo battled Que for the fourth set but still failed to secure the win for the Green Paddlers. F. Garganian then retaliated and overpowered UST’s Alberto Bazar, securing the win for the Green-and-White with a score of 3-2.

At the end of the elimination round, La Salle held a 13-1 win-loss record placing them ahead of UST (12-2), who wound up in second place followed by the last two semifinalists, FEU (9-5) and NU (7-7). UP (6-8), UE (5-9), AdU (4-10), and ADMU (0-14) rounded out the competition.

DSC_0157 []

Sweeping the competition

The Lady Paddlers already established themselves as the team to beat at the end of the first round, but that did not stop them from cranking it up a notch in their next seven matches.

On the first day of the second round, DLSU went undefeated in all four of their games, not even conceding a single set against any of their opponents. They went through UP, UST, UE, and NU all with the same score of 3-0, refusing to let the matches go past the doubles games.

However, the second day started out differently as they were in for a surprise against the second-seeded FEU Lady Tamaraws. While Yan Lariba and Emy Dael won the first two sets in comfortable margins, FEU came right back with strong performances. They were able to defeat the DLSU tandem of Ina Co and Mardeline Carreon in five sets in the doubles match before dealing Lady Paddler Jane Sy a 3-0 loss.

In the final set, Donna Gamilla was in for a tightly contested battle against her FEU rival. Going all the way to fifth set, she remained composed and won the match for her team, preserving their team’s clean record in what was arguably their toughest game in the tourney.

They breezed through their next two games games against Adamson and Ateneo to complete their elimination round sweep, securing them a thrice-to-beat advantage in the finals, where they will await the winners of the stepladder playoffs.