The De La Salle-College of St. Benilde (CSB) Blazers and the San Beda College (SBC) Red Lionesses completed their sweep of the elimination round of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) table tennis tournament at the Colegio de San Juan de Letran Gym in Intramuros, Manila on Saturday.
Ryan Jacolo drew the first blood for CSB at the expense of Josel Sisor in straight sets, 11-3, 11-4, 11-7, while Serknight Benoya dispatched CJ Elumbaring in the second singles, 11-5, 11-7, 10-12, 11-6.
San Beda’s duo of Andre Aldama and Reymark Salutillo snatched the doubles match from Yuta Tortosa and Daniel Cua, 6-11, 11-6, 9-11, 4-11.
Jacolo then finished off Elumbaring in the last singles match, 11-9, 11-9, 7-11, 11-7, for a 3-1 victory for CSB.
“In the first round, Benilde is No.1 but it is not over yet. We still have the Final Four matches, so I hope that we can still continue the good record so that we would top the second round. After that, we would be declared the outright champion,” said CSB head coach Rudolph Palermo.
The CSB Blazers, the Letran Knights, the University of Perpetual Help System-Dalta Altas, and the Arellano University (AU) Chiefs will battle in the Final Four matchups.
In the women’s play, the Red Lionesses survived the CSB Lady Blazers, 3-2, notching their eighth win this season.
Coleen Paruan dispatched reigning Most Valuable Player (MVP) Beverly Paulma in straight sets, 7-11, 6-11, 10-12, but Red Lioness Lyr Leyva retaliated in the second singles match against Kim Lapitan, 11-9, 12-10, 11-8.
San Beda’s duo of Abhie Nuevo and Angel Sanchez sustained the winning momentum against Thelly Jungco and Bernice Supelana, 11-7, 11-7, 12-10.
Lady Blazer Kim Lapitan forced a deciding match after defeating Paulma, 4-11, 7-11, 8-11. Leyva then secured the victory for San Beda after trouncing Paruan, 11-5, 11-1, 11-5.
“Although it’s a sweep, we still need to work hard because we just had a 3-2 tie result. We can’t slack off because we usually win by either 3-0 or 3-1. But today, it was a close fight. So I told Paulma to bounce back next game and forget her game since every team is back to zero. We’re happy that they finished top in the first round. We have the advantage for the championship and in the next round. I hope everyone will work hard,” said San Beda head coach Kurt de Guzman.
The San Beda Red Lionesses, the CSB Lady Blazers, the Emilio Aguinaldo College Lady Generals, and the AU Lady Chiefs will compete for the top spot in the Final Four competition.