Published on October 6th, 2016 | by Karl Eugene Pamat0
UAAP Season 79 Team Preview: Lady Paddlers
The De La Salle University Lady Paddlers continued to show their exceptional performance as they seized their second straight championship last season in the UAAP Women’s Table Tennis tournament.
Pure dominance and an immaculate record
Last season, the Lady Paddlers made a statement to all the UAAP teams that they are the team to beat as they dominated the entire tournament by going straight to the finals with an unblemished record and an elusive thrice-to-beat advantage.
With a virtual 1-0 lead, the Lady Paddlers showed no mercy to their finals’ opponent FEU as they swept them in the finals series and eventually brought home the victory back to Taft.
This upcoming season, together with their men counterparts, Coach Lauro Crisostomo focused on the different skill sets and especially the physical conditioning of the Lady Paddlers.
A new era
It will be a different scenario this upcoming season as the team will be losing the services of the former team captain and Rio Olympian Yan Lariba as she already exhausted her five playing years with the team.
Despite the loss of Yan, Coach Lauro Crisostomo believes that his women’s core is still intact and a solid one. “Malaking bagay na nawala si Yanyan pero yung women’s team natin solid pa rin sila kasi may kayang pumalit sa kanyang pwesto,” as coach explained their roster.
Team captain Jamaica Sy on the other hand emphasized that the team should not be complacent in the upcoming season, “We would not be too confident sa sarili namin especially kasi sure point si Ate Yan and nawala na siya sa team so kayod talaga dapat.”
When asked about what she wants the team to achieve this season, Jamaica expressed, “Syempre championship and it’s really important to prove ourselves na hindi lang kami nakaasa lagi kay Ate Yan but we could also make a name for ourselves.”
Improving one’s game
Prior to the opening of the UAAP, the Lady Paddlers traveled to Singapore and represented the country in the 18th ASEAN University Games wherein the team placed third out of six participating countries in the biennial meet.
Yan Lariba was able to grab a silver medal in the singles division while she and UAAP Season 78 Rookie of the Year Emy Rose Dael snatched a bronze medal in the doubles division
Coach Lauro was all praises for the performance that his girls showed in the tournament, “Lumaban talaga sila and lalo na na-upset nila yung kalaban nila so we got a silver and bronze.”
To rise above the rest
As a new season finally opens, each of the teams prepares their arsenal and the Lady Paddlers are heavy contenders to dominate in this year’s battle. Jamaica assured that she and the rest of the team will fight hard for every point and will not succumb to their opponents easily.
Coach Lauro, on the other hand, wants the girls to use the legacy that Yan left behind for the women’s team as their inspiration in the upcoming UAAP table tennis tournament.
Team captain Jamaica Sy is hoping for the all-out support of the Lasallian community in their games and said, “We would do our best to maintain the championship.”
Catch the Lady Paddlers as they try to conquer the tournament in the hopes of becoming three-peat champions this October 8 at the Blue Eagle Gym in Ateneo de Manila University
In collaboration with Tricia Cruz