Lady Paddlers ends season as bridesmaids, Green Paddlers lands third

Two years ago, the DLSU Green and Lady Paddlers finished third. Last season they were both second best. This year, however, the improvement ceased as the Ladies remained at second while the Green Paddlers slipped one notch to third, concluding the UAAP Season 74 Table Tennis Competition.

The Lady Paddlers knotted the best of three championship series against dark horse UP Lady Maroons last October 5 to force a decider on the 6th.

The finale went through the wringer as Lady Paddler Mika Yagin fought with rookie Rowena Morales to decide this year’s champions, but the result was 8-11, 12-14 and 6-11 for a 2-3 team tie, ending in favor of the Diliman-based Paddlers.

The Ladies in Green-and-White started strong with blue-chip rookie Ian Lariba and Kimberly Medina bagging their games boosting a two to nil lead.

The Taft-based Paddlers tried to ride the momentum but the opposition by stepped up their game. Lady Paddlers DarianneTalento and Jelly Yanera were taken aback by the Bea Magpantay-Chesa Lozado duo, yielding 11-8, 7-11, 11-13 and 7-11 scorecards. Marcelle Galera resisted, but lost to Lady Maroon Pearl Baldo at game scores 9-11, 9-11, 11-8, 11-9 and 3-11.

Despite the bridesmaids finish, Corpus Christi stand-out Lariba was adjudged Rookie of the Year while Diliman’s Magpantay reaped the MVP plum.

“It was overwhelming because a UAAP athlete can only achieve this once in a lifetime. Also, in this simple way, I can give pride and glory to DLSU, and to the Lord and payback all who supported us,” Lariba said in Filipino.

In men’s action, the Green Paddlers blew their twice to beat advantage against defending champions UST Paddlers last October 5 to finish third in standing.

The 1st Singles was played by Alvic Chua, facing off with Tiger Paddler Bazar. The match was in Chua’s favor winning the first game by a 3 point run at 8-8. A momentum shift, however, leaves Chua struggling at 3-11, 5-11 and 11-9. Chua’s loss became certain as the opposition lands a run ending it at 7-11.

The Taft-based team retaliated with two consecutive sweeps recording 2-1. A pumped up Jerald Cristobal overpowered Thomasian Martin Diaz with game scores 11-5, 11-8 and 11-7. The DLSU doubles pair, Walden Ledesma and Earvin De Pedro gave a win, by besting Aaron Morales and Christian Abendan at 13-11, 11-6 and 11-4.

Jethro Yatco was then pushed back by UST’s Ablanque with game scores 3-11, 5-11, and 5-11. The loss of Ted Yu by the hands of Manlapaz marked the match sheet 2-3 favoring the Espana-based Paddlers at scores 6-11, 8-11, and 5-11.

“I admit that the team we were competing with (UST) was really a powerhouse team since they are the defending champion. All I can say is that the game standings weren’t that far and we almost won actually. We weren’t that consistent since some of us played well and some weren’t able to apply their 100 percent in the games,” Yu shared.

Tim Alejandro

By Tim Alejandro

Jerome Alvarez

By Jerome Alvarez

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