Green and Lady Paddlers look to sustain win streaks

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green and Lady Paddlers are now on a roll after winning all their games in the second day of the UAAP Season 81 Table Tennis tournament last Sunday, September 23, at the University of the Philippines (UP) Gym.

Green Paddlers establish winning streak

The Green Paddlers defeated Ateneo de Manila University in the morning, 3-1. Then, they overcame University of the East (UE) in the afternoon, 3-2.

Ateneo had the early advantage over La Salle following Blue Eagle Parman’s four-set win over Daniel Ocon, 11-7, 11-8, 9-11, 11-3. La Salle, though, responded with three straight match victories to put the Katipunan-based squad away. Team captain Tarak Cabrido overcame Ateneo’s Chua with a five-set thriller, 11-9, 11-9, 8-11, 8-11, 11-5. Then, graduating Edhric Eder and rookie Vince Remitio took their doubles match against Rondolo and Somontina by storm. They sealed it in three quick sets, 11-6, 11-1, 11-7. Marwin Eder, the younger of the Eder brothers of the team, finished the game with his own 3-1 triumph over De Asis.

The game against UE was a different story as it reached five matches. Cabrido continued to dominate his opponents after defeating Valdemoro in four sets, 9-11, 11-9, 11-8, 11-2. The Red Warriors answered, with Cortez sweeping Marwin Eder, 11-9, 11-4, 11-6. In the doubles match, the tandem of the older Eder and Remitio carried on with another win. They punished UE’s Wu and Africa in five grueling sets, 11-9, 8-11, 11-8, 7-11, 11-6. The Recto-based squad then countered, with Pacana sweeping Josiah Espinosa, 11-7, 12-10, 11-7, to force a decider. Ocon, who lost earlier in his match against Ateneo, bounced back big time with a straight-set victory over UE’s Ingeniero, 11-9, 12-10, 11-7, to give Green Paddlers their third win in four outings.

Defending champs still immaculate

The Lady Paddlers swept their matches against UP and Adamson University to keep their record immaculate through four games.

Jannah Romero once again started the first singles match for the defending champions. She made a quick work of UP’s Labian with a suffocating 11-3, 11-6, and 11-8 sweep of the match. Then, Erny Dael rode on their momentum with an even strangling conquest against UP’s Royeca, 11-4, 11-4, and 11-5. The combo of Ina Co and Kimberly Sorongon continued the Lady Paddlers’ dance. They lost a set to the pair of Duro and Garcia, but still finished it in four sets, 11-8, 11-7, 9-11, 11-8.

Versus Adamson, Lady Paddlers co-captain Chantal Alberto started off with an 11-9, 11-2, 11-5 smashing of the Falcon’s Romaguera. Then, Dael sustained her splendid performance, sweeping yet another victim in Adamson’s Ricanor, 11-2, 13-11, 11-2. Co and team captain Kimberly Bernaldez lost the first set of their doubles match against Pangantijon and Dinglasan, 14-12. Nonetheless, they got the better of their opponents in the succeeding periods, 11-6, 11-7, 11-6. Their four-set victory also sealed their fourth win of the season.

Up next:

The DLSU Green Paddlers will next face UP and University of Santo Tomas tomorrow, 8 AM and 1 PM, respectively, at the same venue. Meanwhile, the Lady Paddlers will try to preserve their spotless card as they go against National University and Ateneo, 8 AM and 1 PM, also tomorrow at the same venue.

Green Paddlers split assignments, Lady Paddlers spotless in Day 1

The De La Salle University (DLSU) Green Paddlers opened their UAAP Season 81 campaign with a five-match win, 3-1, 3-1, 2-3, 1-3, 3-2, against Far Eastern University (FEU) on Saturday, September 22 at the University of the Philippines (UP) Gym.

Later in the same day, they followed it up with a 1-3 loss, 2-3, 3-2, 2-3, 0-3, to National University (NU).

On the other hand, the DLSU Lady Paddlers emerged triumphant in their first two outings after making quick work of FEU, 3-0, 3-0, 3-1, and routing University of the East in four sets, 3-0, 3-0, 2-3, 3-1.

Green Paddlers Game 1: vs FEU

La Salle got the momentum early in their campaign as they swiftly mounted a 2-0 lead following Daniel Ocon and team captain Tarak Cabrido’s four-set wins against FEU’s Angcos and Villanueva, respectively.

Then, the pair of Green Paddler veteran Edhric Eder and rookie Patrick Pasumbal took a 2-1 cushion over the combination of Tamaraws Lara and Sombilon in their doubles match. Entering the fourth set, however, the former lost grip of their momentum as the latter made them pay. The Tamaraws kept their hopes alive by claiming the fourth and fifth sets, 13-11 and 11-5, respectively, and eventually the match.

The Green Paddlers remained silent as another first-year player in Vince Remitio could not deliver the goods to Taft. He trailed for most of the time in his opening set, before dominating the next period. While he was on the verge of winning the third set at 11-10, FEU’s Siachua strung three straight points to steal the set from him, 13-11.

In the deciding match, Josiah Espinosa, one more of the team’s four rookies, avoided a meltdown in Set 1 after leading FEU’s Santiago, 9-7, near the end of the set. The latter came back and was able to snatch the driver’s seat, 10-9. Nonetheless, Espinosa connected three consecutive points to seal it for La Salle, 12-10. He then stormed back from down four, 6-10, to slowly steal the second period from Santiago, 14-12. The Tamaraws charged in the third set to get on the match scoreboard, but Espinosa finished Santiago and FEU’s chances in the final set.

Green Paddlers Game 2: vs NU

Marwin Eder, the last of the four rookies of the Green Paddlers, started the first match of the team in the second tie. Eder got off to a smooth start in the opening period, playing seesaw with NU’s Ramiro and even posting a 2-1 match lead after three sets. But, as soon as the defending champions stepped on the gas, the rookie could not catch up and fell short in the fourth and fifth sets, 4-11 and 5-11, respectively.

Cabrido lost two tightly contested sets in his match against Sinchongco, 10-12, 9-11, but that did not keep him from coming up big in the next sets. The Green Paddlers team captain raced to a hot start in the third canto to quickly pull himself to within one set, 11-8. Then, with another close finish brewing in the fourth set, Cabrido did not allow his opponent to force an extension of the period, knocking him at 11-9. He finished Sinchongco early in the deciding set after waxing seven quick points to only one from the latter.

Stakes were high in the third match as the winner would claim the pivotal 2-1 game lead. La Salle’s combination of Nathan Siasico and Remitio and NU’s couple of Celeridad and Mogol were in a tug of war as the two teams exchanged wins in their five-set match. The Season 80 champions NU claimed the first and third sets, while the Season 79 champions DLSU took the second and fourth frames. However, it was the former who outgunned the latter in the deciding set, 6-11, to take the 2-1 game lead.

La Salle just completely surrendered to the reigning champions in the fourth set as Daniel Ocon had no answer to Diez of NU. Ocon lost to Diez in straight sets, 5-11, 7-11, 5-11.

Lady Paddlers Game 1:  vs FEU

Jannah Romero started off the title defense for the Lady Paddlers with a dominating victory in her singles match against FEU’s Talay, 11-8, 11-4, 11-1. Then, Erny Dael gave La Salle a commanding 2-0 game lead after pouncing on Verano in another straight-set match, 11-2, 11-5, 11-4.

The duo of Lady Paddlers veteran Ina Co and rookie Kimberly Sorongon claimed the first set, 11-5, of their doubles match versus FEU’s Alzado and Sacay before losing Set 2, 7-11. However, they bounced back by claiming two more sets, 11-7, 11-7, to clinch the third match and ultimately the victory for La Salle.

Lady Paddlers Game 2: vs UE

Coming off an impressive sweep of the Lady Tamaraws, the defending champions picked up where they left off after quickly mounting a commanding 2-0 game lead against the Lady Warriors. Romero and Dael each swept UE’s Vasquez and Garrucho, respectively.

The combo of Lady Paddlers team captain Kimberly Lumenda and Caressha Bernaldez took a 2-0 match lead over their counterparts Abello and Lague. Curiously in the succeeding sets, the two just completely lost their direction to sweeping UE. With a 10-8 lead in the third canto, they were shut down while Abello and Lague were able to sneak three unanswered points to steal the set. In the fourth and fifth sets, the duo never even tasted the lead when it mattered the most.

Fortunately, they could still afford one more set as Jhoana Go rushed to a two to none match lead over UE’s San Agustin. The Lady Warrior was able to strike a set against Go, but the Lady Paddler ended her hopes of forcing a do-or-die in the fourth set, 11-7.

Up next:

The DLSU Green Paddlers will face Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU) and University of the East (UE) tomorrow, 8 AM and 1 PM, respectively, at the same venue. Each of the three universities has identical 1-1 records.

On the other hand, the DLSU Lady Paddlers will face UP and Adamson University (AdU) also tomorrow, 8 AM and 1 PM, respectively, at the same venue. Each of the three universities likewise has identical 1-1 slates.

UAAP Season 81 Preview: DLSU Lady Paddlers

Captain: Kimberly Lumenda

Co-Captain: Chantal Alberto

Holdovers: Ina Co, Erny Dael, Caressha Bernaldez

Losses: Jamaica Sy, Mardeline Carreon

Rookies: Jannah Romero, Jhoana Go, Kimberly Ann Sorongon

Coming off from a 4-peat finish, the De La Salle University Lady Paddlers are all set to smash their way to their 5th straight crown in the Women’s Table Tennis tournament of the UAAP Season 81.

To rise above the rest

With the glory of being a four-peat title holder, the Lady Paddlers kept their feet on the ground in hopes of extending the immaculate record this season.

Starting from Season 77, the Lady Paddlers have already established dominance and even clinched the back-to-back championships in Season 78.

However, in the following year, the team went through tough transitions with the departure of their former Team Captain and late Olympian Paddler Yan Lariba. Nonetheless, the ladies were able to cope up and resumed what was needed to be finished.

Last season was another moment relived by the women’s team as they bagged the fourth straight finals crown.

A closer look

Head Coach Lauro Crisostomo, who led the coaching staff for years now, mentioned that the Lady Paddlers are ready to step into the season.

After the success of pre-season tournaments such as the Philippine T2 Super League last May and the Bicol Philippine T2 Super League last August, Coach Lauro led the team’s training and preparations to get back into condition and to tighten the bond of a new breed of Lady Paddlers.

A boost for the team

In honor of the decorated Lariba, the DLSU Community dedicated the season to the loss of an exceptional Lasallian. The Lady Paddlers being the scions of the legacy, felt a deeper motivation to finish strong this season, whatever it takes.

“Ibibigay namin yung best hanggang sa huling laban kasi alam namin na gustong gusto ni Yanyan na makita kami na gusto namin yung ginagawa naming.” Team Captain Lumerda said.

On the other hand, co-captain Chantal Alberto expressed gratitude to the school, “Sobrang grateful for the support of the Lasallian community, at the same time it’s inspiring us and motivating us to do our best. Our goal is hopefully to get the championship again and to give our seniors a good exit.”

Catch the Lady Paddlers in their first game of the tournament against FEU on September 22, at the UP CHK Gym.

UAAP Season 81 Preview: Green Paddlers

The De La Salle University Green Paddlers look to spin their way back into dominance on the Men’s Table Tennis Tournament of the UAAP Season 81.

Coming from a roster shorthand of players last Season 80, the team claims to boost its morale as they enter the tournament with a complete lineup.

Looking back on the turnouts from the previous years, the Green Paddlers reigned a three-peat championship title from Season 76-78. They were on top of the collegiate table tennis.

But as the sports saying goes, “you win some and you lose some”. Glory was snatched from the table tennis titans of Taft when UST halted La Salle’s reign of terror in the finals of Season 79. However, last season was a nightmare with a 5th place finish.

And now, the team remained thirsty to bag another gold for La Salle. They’re ready to put the last two seasons aside and set their eyes on a 6th title.

Team captain Tarak Cabrido knows his team can do just that this year.

“May tiwala kami this season,” Cabrido exclaimed.

The team, headlined by captain Tarak Cabrido, is mixture of veterans and a new batch of Green Paddlers. Here is the complete roster for Season 81:

Team Captain: Tarak Cabrido

Co-Captain: Daniel Ocon

Holdovers: Nathan Siasico, Edhric Eder

Rookies: Vince Remitio, Josiah Espinosa, Marwin Eder, Patrick Pasumbal

With the help of the coaching staff led by Head Coach Lauro Crisostomo, the team was able to build up enough confidence and motivation.

To get back into conditioning and enhance the team’s chemistry, Coach Lauro brought his players to off-season preparations like the Philippine T2 Super League last May and the Bicol Philippine T2 Super League last August, where they competed against fellow collegiate paddlers from different universities across the country.

One step at a time

The Green Paddlers have high hopes of reclaiming the crown. From intensified trainings to two key players signing off from the roster and a lineup halved by rookies, they came into the season with a clear objective, “Isa-isa muna, Final Four, then double championship sa men’s and women’s”, Co-captain Daniel Ocon echoed.

The team’s drive for greatness is uplifted in honor of the late Rio Olympian Yan Lariba who stood as their model athlete.

“Isa siya sa mga tumutulong talaga samin. Pag sinabing Ate Yan, talagang nabboost kami. Hangga’t di pa tapos yung laban, walang bibitaw”, Ocon stated.

“Buhos every game. Puso.” in Cabrido’s terms.

Catch the Green Paddlers as they take on FEU for the first game action on September 22, 8 AM, at the UP CHK Gym.

Be there to support the paddlers of the Green and White as they embark on their journey to reclaim their spot in the UAAP mountaintop. Animo Green Paddlers! #4LaSalleYAN

UAAP Season 79 Team Preview: Green Paddlers

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The De La Salle University Green Paddlers took charge and breezed through the rest of the Men’s Table Tennis tournament as they clinched their third straight championship in the UAAP Season 78.

A minor setback erased

Last season, the Green Paddlers experienced a slight bump in the road as they were foiled by UST in their opening game of the season. However, the team recovered right away and swept their remaining games showing consistency throughout the tournament.

The Green Paddlers finished on top of the standings with a 13-1 win-loss record and outdueled their semi-finals and finals’ opponent NU and UST, respectively, in straight games.

“Nagfocus ako ngayon more on skills and pinalakas ko rin yung physical conditioning nila,” said Coach Lauro Crisostomo about the adjustments that he made in the men’s team prior to this season.

Key losses and additions

Coming into this season, the Green Paddlers will be parading new faces in the tournament. They will be missing the services of UAAP Season 78 MVP and Rookie of the Year Walden Ledesma and Carlo Mateo, respectively. The team will be consisted of a different core this season as some key players graduated already while some left due to personal reasons.

However, the Green Paddlers minimized the effect of this minor blow by adding players from their training pool and former De La Salle Zobel standout Nathan Siasico.

When asked about how the present players will fill the void of the team, Coach Lauro acclaimed, “Medyo mahirap kasi yung limang players [key losses] na yun, yun yung key players ko. Pero yung mga natira confident naman ako na mapunan nila yung limang nawala through training.”

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Despite the losses that their team experienced, team captain Ralph Nones remained positive and called for hard work and support from his teammates coming to this season, “As captain, gusto ko lang makita na magtulungan kami then siguro mag-effort kami para madefend yung title this season.”

A boost in the team

Earlier this year, the Green Paddlers represented the Philippines in the 18th ASEAN University held in Singapore. The team gained valuable exposure for the upcoming UAAP season despite being unsuccessful in bringing home a medal back to the country.

“Malaking bagay para sa amin yun bago mag UAAP kasi marami kaming napulot. Pero yung team naman lumaban and skills nakapulot rin kami don tapos yung mga techniques rin,” as Coach Lauro recalled their performance in the biennial tournament.

New season, new rivalries

A new season is coming and as the Green Paddlers improve their game play, other teams also gain something from the off-season but Coach Lauro is confident that his boys can salvage the championship once again despite the absence of his previous key players.

“Gamitin nila yung mga napulot naming sa international competition. Gamitin rin nila yung inspiration na iniwan ng seniors nila,” as Coach Lauro said his dedications to the team.

Team captain Ralph Nones invites the Lasallian community to watch their games and delivered, “Expect nila na pag-iigihan naming ang madefend ang title at mauwi pa rin naman ang trono dito sa La Salle.”

Catch the Green Paddlers in their attempt to vanquish their opponents on the road to an elusive four-peat championship on October 8 at the Blue Eagle Gym in Ateneo de Manila University.

In collaboration with Tricia Cruz

Green and Lady Paddlers surpass the second round of eliminations

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Continuing last week’s momentum, the DLSU Green and Lady Paddlers are more than ready to face a slew of battles on their road to victory.

Green Paddler Ledesma had an impressive start in their first singles match against UE’s Estrella, winning three straight sets, 11-3, 14-12, and 12-7. UE tried to avenge their loss when Vasquez trounced over DLSU’s Yatco, 9-11, 11-8, 11-7, 10-12, and 11-8. For their doubles match, dynamic duo Garganian and Cabrido stepped up to defend the team, 11-6, 11-5, 5-11 and 11-5. To seal their victory, DLSU’s Mateo defeated UE’s Cortez, 14-12, 7-11, 11-5, and 11-7.

In their game against ADMU, the Green Paddlers completely swept all 3 matches. DLSU’s Ledesma finished the singles match against ADMU’s Banaria unscathed, perfecting all three sets, 11-3, 11-4, and 11-4. Ruiz took a cue from Ledesma by yielding the same result against ADMU’s Lagasca, 11-5, 11-7, and 11-3. The Garganian and Cabrido tandem thwarted ADMU’s Lopez and Dayao, 11-8, 11-9, and 11-6.

Yatco had a hard time trampling UP’s Chua, but with enough determination, he still managed to fight his way to victory, 9-11, 11-7, 8-11, 11-5, and 11-9 . Ledesma on the other hand, successfully earned their second win, 11-9, 11-6, 10-12 and 11-8. However, partners Cabrido and Garganian failed to secure the doubles match against Duot and Lamayan, 11-6, 4-11, 9-11, and 1-11. The determining set depended on DLSU’s Mateo and UP’s De Jesus. In the end, Mateo was able to secure the win by a service ace, 11-8, 11-7, 7-11, and 12-11.

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Lady Paddler Dael went head-to-head against AdU’s Jarito. Dael triumphed on the first two sets, 11-3 and 11-4, but with Jarito’s resurgent attacks, AdU was able to retaliate, 13-11. Due to Dael’s resilience, she was able to earn the team’s first win by dominating the determining set, 11-6. Meanwhile, DLSU’s Team Captain Lariba went up against AdU’s Nicanor. Lariba showed no mercy as she dominated all three sets, 11-3, 11-1, and 11-3. The Lady Paddlers were on a roll as the Lumenda and Carreon tandem continued the team’s winning streak. They thrashed AdU ‘s Santiago and Dinglasan in three consecutive sets, 11-6, 11-3, and 11-8.

For the second game, Lariba was against UE counterpart Manggubat. Lariba exhibited her agility, giving litte to no time for Manggubat to score. The Lady Paddler managed to dominate three consecutive sets, 11-1, 11-2, and 11-4. Dael seemed to follow Lariba’s lead as she also conquered three consecutive sets, 11-5, 11-4 and 11-3. For the doubles match, DLSU’s Bernaldez and Co had a hard time holding off UE’s Pelaez and Magpile. The match ended up having 5 sets, but in the end, DLSU was crowned as as victors, 8-11, 6-11, 11-6, 11-9, and 11-5.

In their match against UP, Gamilla lost her composure, surrendering to UP’s Nishino after five sets, 8-11, 11-9, 11-6, 8-11 and 8-11. Lariba wasn’t fazed by the wrath of UP, dominating three straight sets, 11-6, 11-4, and 11-3. For the doubles match, Bernaldez and Co battled against UP’s R. Ching and C. Ching. The Lady Paddlers relished in their victory in this hard-fought battle, 11-7, 11-8, 8-11, 4-11, and 11-7. For the last match, Dael was able to give the team its third win, 11-7, 11-9 and 11-2.

Catch DLSU’s Green and Lady Paddlers this Sunday, October 25, 2015, 8 am at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Green and Lady Paddlers survive 1st round of Eliminations

Green Paddlers

From the heightened performance last season of the UAAP, the expectations and pressure on the Paddlers reached the peak of its calibration. Nevertheless, both the Green and Lady Paddlers end the 1st round of Eliminations with raining threes. The DLSU Men’s Table Tennis Team finished with match scores of 1-3, 3-0, 3-1, and 3-2 against UST, NU, FEU, and AdU respectively. While the Women’s Table Tennis Team concluded with a no-mercy 3-0, 3-1, 3-1, and 3-0 against FEU, NU, UST, and ADMU respectively at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium last October 17, 2015.

Green Paddlers: fighting ‘till the last breath

The DLSU Men’s Table Tennis Team continues to fight for another Champion-titled year. To start the match, UST’s Ablanque started strong and overpowered DLSU’s Yatco, with scores of 11-0, 13-11, 11-5, 11-9. DLSU’s Ledesma also fell to UST’s Adolfo Bazar with 9-11, 11-2, 10-12, and 10-12. The Green Paddlers, played by Mateo, then rose against to the formidable UST Table Tennis Team’s Que, by winning their 1st game of the match 11-4, 11-9, 2-11, 12-14, and 11-5. After a set of hope for the Taft- based team, UST is declared triumphant after winning the 4th game 12-10, 13-11, 11-9 by Alberto Bazar against DLSU’s E. Garganian.

The Green Paddlers then woke up to the loss and started to regain their strength as they swept National University, 3-0. Team Captain, Walden Ledesma of DLSU, began the streak after defeating Mical (NU) with scores of 7-11, 11-7, 11-2, and 12-10. Yatco then proved himself as NU’s Caracco downfall in the 2nd game of the match with 11-8, 11-6, 2-11, and 11-1.  The doubles game was played by DLSU’s Mateo and Cabrido against NU’s Villamor and Morada; the Green Paddlers thrashed the attacks by the opposing team, earning DLSU its 3rd game of the match by 11-5, 2-11, 11-4, and 11-9.

Displeased with a single win, DLSU overthrows Far Eastern University (FEU) with a 3-1. First up was Ledesma (DLSU) against Igno (FEU) who won just after 3 sets 11-9, 11-5, and 11-8. Francis Garganian (DLSU) played right after with Dalut of UST who failed to earn DLSU another game with scores of 7-11, 7-11, 11-6, and 9-11. Still fighting strong, a doubles match played by Mateo and Cabrido (DLSU) against Villanueva and Caballoro (FEU) was inclined to the Green team’s favor which earned DLSU its 2nd game for the match with scores 11-7, 11-9, and 11-9. Yatco (DLSU) played the last set with convincing smashes that earned the Green Paddlers’ their 3rd game for the match against Osorno (UST).

The DLSU Paddlers refused to be tired. The Taft-based squad hailed victorious with a 3-2 match score against the forbidding Adamson University (AdU). Ledesma successful against AdU’s Jimenez after long and slow score transition 5-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-5, 11-2. Yatco (DLSU) comes after but succumbs to AdU’s Eneria 11-4, 9-11, 11-4, 10-12, 10-12. AdU declined losing and sent for Coraza and Octavo against DLSU’s Cabrido and Mateo; AdU wins with set scores of 8-11, 7-11, 11-5, 11-6, 11-8. La Salle cames back and secured the 4th game of the match, played by F Garganian against Enal (AdU), 11-7, 11-4, 3-11, 11-5. DLSU’s Ruiz then retaliates and conquered the match after winning the last game with only 3 sets:  11-8, 12-10, 11-7 against Balanquit (AdU).

 

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Lady Paddlers: sweeping as a new hobby

It was only the first match and DLSU was on fire; the Lady Paddlers swept FEU off the tables. Team Captain Lariba (DLSU) defeated FEU’s Gabutin only after a few minutes with scores 11-3, 11-4, and 11-4. Dael then dove into the game room and challenged Chua (FEU), beating Chua in 3 straight sets 11-5, 11-7, 11-3. Lastly, Bernaldez and Co (DLSU) battled and took the game from Jaro and Soya (FEU) with scores 9-11, 12-10, 9-11, 11-7, and 11-4.

National University (NU) started the 2nd match of the day with Santiago against La Salle’s Lariba but was abortive and lost in 3 straight sets 5-11, 3-11, and 4-11. Dael (DLSU) then battled NU’s Jouy Ann Santiago and volleyed her way to the top, winning the 2nd game for the Green Team: 11-3, 11-1, 11-9. The doubles game was a struggle for Gamilla and Co (DLSU). They were then overwhelmed by Torres and Gudmalin (NU) with scores 5-11, 11-8, 6-11, 11-6, and 8-11. DLSU’s Sy did not disappoint the Taft-based squad and won La Salle its 3rd win of the match with scores 5-11, 17-15, 11-8, and 11-4 against NU’s Rodriguez.

Not tired from winning, De La Salle University claimed another win against University of Sto. Tomas (UST), 3-1. The match started off with Sy (DLSU) and Millana (UST) but was won in a short amount of time by the Lady Paddlers with scores 11-9, 11-6, 11-2. La Salle’s Lariba got back in court and left Rocero (UST) armed only with 11-3, 11-2, 11-1 points. Co and Bernaldez (DLSU) swayed and  was unable to grasp the game from UST’s Robles and Templatura. This left DLSU with 8-11, 8-11, 11-8, and 11-13. Dael then takes DLSU in a U-turn and claimed the 4th game of the match as their 3rd win from UST’s Alburo with scores 11-8, 11-4, and 11-3.

No mercy was given for Ateneo de Manila University as the DLSU Lady Paddlers completely swept them in 3 games, 3 sets each. Lariba beat Reyes (ADMU) with no sweat and earned DLSU’s first win of the match: 11-2, 11-4, 11-2. Subsequently, Dael followed Lariba’s lead and took down ADMU’s Calvo with scores 11- 5, 11-3, and 11-7. Carreon and Co did not fail their Alma matter and made certain DLSU will take home this win. The DLSU duo smashed Uy and Cruz (ADMU) and scored 11-6, 11-4, and 11-8.

From the shining performance of the Lady Paddlers, one of their coaches’ commented on their performance. He added “Superb. Maganda yung pinkakita nila kanina. Pag ganyan, tuloy- tuloy ang panalo, kayang- kaya mag sweep.” Also, coach added that their team has been performing excellently lately because of their continuous physical and mental training as well as the unity of the team. In addition, when coach was asked what to expect from the team in the coming games, he said “Yung gusto naming ilabas, nailabas nila… Asahan niyo na may ilalabas pa sila”.

 

Round 2 of the eliminations shall be held next Saturday, October 24, 2015 from 8:00am and October 25, 2015 from 8:00am at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Paddlers prepped to land on top of the table anew

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UAAP Season 76 was a bountiful year for the DLSU Table Tennis teams after garnering a gold medal finish in the men’s tournament and a silver-glazed season in the women’s division. Earning the most number of points combined in the event, La Salle’s paddlers reigned supreme among the rest. This time around, the team is even looking to finish stronger by accomplishing a championship double—one that has been eluding them in recent years.

Not going anywhere

Now that they are entering the tournament as champions, the Green Paddlers are the team-to-beat, told skipper Jerald Cristobal who admitted that it will be a challenging season for his team. The impressive performance of the men’s team in the elimination round booked them an advantageous seat into the semifinals. A repeat of last season’s dominance bodes well for a title defense.

With Earvin de Pedro the sole departure from last season’s lineup, Cristobal believes his team has what it takes to defend the championship.  There will also be a couple of first-timers, Leonard Solis and Francis Garganian, who are ready to help the team in its title retention bid this year.

Losing focus and playing complacently are unwelcome for the UAAP men’s table tennis champions if they are to successfully fend off their rivals from stealing the championship away from them.

Aside from internal hindrances, Cristobal, who won the clinching match in last year’s finals, suggested that some schools have heavy reinforcements which could cause them problems this season. He singled out rivals UST as the main threat as two of its ace players return from ineligibility. Apart from the España’s golden men, last year’s finalists FEU, UE and Adamson were also the other teams the team is watching out for.

Winning the championship was a catalyst to the Green Paddlers’ game play. “We gained more confidence in tournaments. We performed better,” bared Cristobal.  He and his teammates, together with the Lady Paddlers, prepared for this season as early as February. The long span of time the team has allotted for Season 77 demonstrates their eagerness on keeping the prize in their hands.

As the target of most teams, the Green Paddlers cannot afford to take their feet off the gas. Cristobal  hoped that expectations would not negatively get into their heads. “It would help if we think of ourselves as the underdogs so we could ease the pressure in keeping the championship,” he supplemented.

Reclaiming lost glory

Accomplishing a double round sweep against six other teams is not a feat regularly done by many, but last season the Lady Paddlers did just that. Blowing by the competition, the UAAP Season 75 champions looked well on their way to a conquering finish. However, the long layoff proved to be a liability than an asset as a momentum-driven UP Lady Maroons team shocked the Lady Paddlers in the finals. Emerging from a step-ladder format, the Iskas wiped out the enormous thrice-to-beat advantage of DLSU by winning three straight games which resulted in a power shift from Malate to Diliman.

A season after, ace player and team captain Ian Lariba thinks she and her teammates are hungry to take their trophy back. She elaborated, “We have what it takes to become champions. We gained the finals seat and the thrice-to-beat advantage that came with it so I suppose we could go all the way. Our goal for this season is to recover the championship.”

Lariba cited the importance of momentum as a key factor in last year’s finals. “We realized that it was really important to sustain our momentum going into the finals. We cannot afford to slow down. Once we reach the top, we have to strive to get better so we could play at an optimal level.” In order for them to do that, the Cagayan de Oro native thinks they should perform consistently well to avoid the hiccup they suffered last year.

Last year’s runners-up will miss the services of seasoned players Jellie Ann Yanela and Michaella Yagin, both of whom have forsaken the team due to graduation. In their places come rookies Ina Co and Kimberly Lumenda. Those are the only changes for the Lady Paddlers, relatively intact in their pursuit of regaining the women’s collegiate table tennis’ top prize.

The team is wary of the widespread competition this season. Champions UP are intact while FEU and UST have players coming off redshirt spells. According to Lariba, these are the teams that have the potential of stopping them from their redemption track.

For the women’s team, Lariba said they are ready to do their talking through their deeds. “You don’t have to say anything for as long as you keep on performing, everything will follow,” told Lariba of what could be her team’s words to live by.

Fast and furious action on the tables

The table tennis tournament is perhaps the most jam-packed of all UAAP events. The elimination round is played through a double round robin format all inside four game days. A team can play a maximum of four games in one day as one weekend is allotted for one round. Playoffs are often held inside one or two days depending on the format in place. Hence, it is vital for the Paddlers to be battle-ready at all times.

Cristobal puts a premium on mental toughness in surpassing the challenges the tournament gives. He added, “Almost all of us prepared similarly for the tournament. It all boils down on determination—the will to win each game.”

Meanwhile, Lariba emphasized on playing the game gradually by focusing on every point and in a way that once something happened already, they should learn to recover right away and continue to play. She furthered, “we should learn to adapt regardless of the result. After each game, we can only march on to the next.”

The journey towards a championship double for Coach Lauro Crisostomo’s players will begin on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at the Blue Eagle Gym. The Green Paddlers will open their defense against UE at 9:00 AM and will be followed by games versus NU and UST in the afternoon. The Lady Paddlers square off against Adamson, also at 9:00 AM and will cap the day off with an afternoon encounter against FEU.