The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tiger Paddlers swept the De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Paddlers, 3-0, in Game 2 of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) men’s table tennis finals at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City on Wednesday.
Gil Ablanque drew the first blood for UST after dispatching Ermar Edhric Eder, 11-2, 11-5, 11-8.
Tiger Paddler Alberto Bazar also finished off Jeremy Simone Ruiz in straight sets in the second singles match, 11-9, 11-5, 12-10.
Norielle Pantoja and Rian O’neal Maldia sustained the winning momentum for UST and upset the duo of Ralph Urielle Nones and Nathan Andrew Siasico of La Salle, 11-5, 11-7, 11-8.
“Actually, their decision to postpone the championship for a week, I was quite hesitant with that because the condition of the players was quite good. So I’m also thankful because the performance of the players was even better,” said UST head coach Jackson Que.
The yellow-and-white paddlers delivered the same result against the green-and-white squad, 3-0, in Game 1 of the finals. They remained undefeated during the whole tournament with a 16-0 record.
UST’s four senior players are graduating, namely Ablanque, Bazar, Pantoja, and Paul Que.
“The three players except Paul Que have completed their playing years. Paul Que can still play if he wants to. He can study again,” the older Que added.
In Game 3 of the women’s finals, defending champions La Salle Lady Archers clinched their third straight tiara after surviving the UST Tigresses, 3-2.
La Salle’s Emy Rose Dael and Jamaica Dianne Sy both dispatched Rizza Mae Darlucio and Danica Marielle Alburo in four sets, respectively.
The of duo Katrina Tempiatura and Rachel Parba of UST swept Ina Alleli Co and Mardeline Carreon, 11-8, 11-8, 13-11.
Kate Louie Encarcion tied the match at two-all after upsetting Donna Marie Gamilla, 11-6, 10-12, 11-13, 11-6, 11-6.
Lady Archer Chantal Rei Alberto broke the deadlock after edging Maria Niña Nacasabog, 11-3, 4-11, 6-11, 11-3, 12-10.
Posting a 3-0 victory in Game 2, the Lady Archers forced a do-or-die match against the Tigresses.
Dael swept Tempiatura in the first singles match, 11-5, 11-8, 11-8.
Notching the second win for the Taft-based squad, Sy edged Encarnacion in a five-set thriller, 10-12, 14-12, 2-11, 11-6, 11-7.
Co and Carreon finished off Parba and Darlucio, 11-8, 11-8, 11-8.
The UST Tigresses snatched Game 1 from La Salle, 3-2.
Pantoja and Dael received the Most Valuable Player award in the men’s and women’s division, respectively, while Siasico was recognized as the Rookie of the Year.