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Tiger Paddlers stun España as UST takes home double crown

The Tiger Paddlers tightened their grip to their 28th crown as they again defeated their second time contender, the National University Bulldogs, for a back-to-back championship title in this UAAP Season 82 Table Tennis Tournament.

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Photo by Troy Jacob Quinan/TomasinoWeb

The UST Tiger and Lady Paddlers’ aim for consistency in the UAAP season did not let the whole Thomasian community down as they unceasingly strived for the championship title this season.

The Tiger Paddlers tightened their grip to their 28th crown as they again defeated their second time contender, the National University Bulldogs, for a back-to-back championship title in this UAAP Season 82 Table Tennis Tournament.

With its win, the defending champs remained unbeaten as the men’s team showed dominance since the elimination round with a complete sweep.

Graduating senior Reymark Mabuang secured the win for the Tigers amidst the rival, NU Paddlers who had almost trailed behind them until the last set of the game.

Despite the fact that this is his last year in playing, as expected for Mabuang’s outstanding skills throughout his game for the season, he was claimed as this season’s Most Valuable Player.

A pair of rookies, Mcleen Dizon and Prince Garcia, also made its way for the gold as both had led the doubles division.

However, the yellow-blooded Thomasians continued its lead in the UAAP Season 82 Table Tennis Tournament as the women’s team remained persistent after upsetting the Ateneo Lady Eagles, marking their 13th championship title.

UST upset the Ateneo Lady Paddlers from almost keeping pace with the Tigresses as Lady Paddler Danica Alburo finished the fifth set with 14-12 for the singles match.

“Bilog ang bola, lahat pwedeng mangyari. Kahit ikaw ang pinakamagaling, pwede ka pa ring matalo,” Alburo shared about what inspired her throughout the season in an exclusive interview with TomasinoWeb.

Coming from a continuous heartbreak for 14 years without a title, the UST women’s team still made it to the championship platform amidst the other team’s nerve-wracking lineup for the season.

Although mournful as she ends her last staying years for the team, the graduating senior looked back to the times where she was still part of the table tennis’ Team B and now as a member of the UAAP final lineup.

“I’m very thankful na binigyan ako ni Lord ng magandang exit kasi nadefend namin yung champion. Ang bilis lang din ng 5 years. Parang natatandaan ko pa yung rookie year ko. Kung mababalik ko lang, pwede pa bang humingi ng playing years kasi ang sarap talaga maglaro for UST,” Alburo added as she expels her emotions.

Albeit the pressure in defending the 13th crown for España, the UST women’s team retrieved the finals round with an unnerving game against the Ateneo Lady Eagles.

Relieved in earning the crown, Alburo still keeps her head down and remained her feet on the ground after taking the win for her alma mater.

“It is the attitude that will maintain us there. Dapat hindi ka lagi complacent sa mga ginagawa mo. Every galaw ay dapat tactful ka, decisive. And kung magkamali ka man, dapat panindigan pa rin,” one of the eldest member of the team, Alburo, also mentioned.

Amidst knowing that there were seniors in the team, sophomore team captain Gabisay held the responsibility with the members’ cooperation and teamwork to maintain the championship title.

“Nung summer, wala pong umuwi sa’min. Hanggang sa nag-UAAP, tuloy-tuloy yung training namin. Tapos pumunta kami sa ibang bansa para maki-tune up nung sa incentive tour namin. Tapos naki-tune up nalang kami para maranasan namin yung ibang bola kung gaano pa kakulang at yung preparations na gagawin namin pagbalik dito para sa UAAP. So, malaking bagay po yun,” sophomore team captain Gabisay unfolded the story on how the whole team prepared before the start of the season.

Gabisay also took home Most Valuable Player honors in this year’s tournament.

“Pinaghirapan din po ‘yun ng buong team na mag-champion kami. At alam po namin na deserve namin ‘yun na makuha talaga. At bonus nalang po yung pagiging MVP,” the second year star player Gabisay added.

As moving to the next part of her life, Danica Alburo would like to tell every Thomasians how she balanced both academics and sports as she compared life to table tennis saying, “Parang naa-apply din siya sa table tennis, ang layo na ng score mo; 8 siya, 2 ka. Hindi pa to tapos. Kaya pa to. Hangga’t walang 11, hindi kami susuko. Hindi ako susuko.”

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Tiger Paddlers secure four wins in Day 2

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The University of Santo Tomas Paddlers notched four victories in Day 2 of the UAAP Season 80 Table Tennis competition at the University of the Philippines Gym Sunday.

Male Paddlers improved to 3–1 win-loss record while the Female Paddlers had a perfect 4–0 card.

“So far yung performance nila in the last two days, lalong gumaganda. So far medyo nakukuha na yung rhythm,” Male Paddlers head coach Jackson Que told Tomasinoweb.

Male Paddlers toppled FEU, 3–1, after showing their dominance against the Red Warriors, 3–0.

Meanwhile, Female Paddlers whipped the Tamaraws and the Warrios with 3–0 verdicts.

The Male Paddlers lost their opening match against the National University Bulldogs, 0–3, but quickly bounced back against UP, 3–0.

Their female counterparts toppled the Fighting Maroons and the Bulldogs, 3–1.

UST paddlers will continue their UAAP campaign on Thursday, Sept. 28, at the same venue.

“I expect this coming Thursday, mas maganda yung maging result,” Que ended.

by Justin Emmanuel V. Magat

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Tiger Paddlers bag championship; Female Paddlers improve to bridesmaid finish

“Spiritually, mentally, and physically ready ‘yung team at gusto nilang manalo.”

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The University of Santo Tomas Male Paddlers swept the UAAP Season 79 men’s table tennis tournament as they blanked defending champions De La Salle University Green Archers in their finals showdown, Wednesday, at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.
“14-0 sa eliminations plus this championship, mas love tayo ni God.” UST head coach Jackson Que said. “Spiritually, mentally, and physically ready ‘yung team at gusto nilang manalo.”
On their first match, Gil Abalanque showcased his dominance early on against La Salle’s Tarak Cabrido, 11-6, 11-8, 11-7.
Alberto Bazar maintained the composure for UST as he barely broke a sweat against Jeremy Ruiz, 11-4, 11-6, 11-7.
UST’s duo Norielle Pantoja and Rian O’neal Maldia ended their first game with straight sets advantage.
Tiger Paddlers wrapped up their second and final game with a 3-0 cushion to bring home the coveted gold medals.
UST’s Norielle Pantoja nabbed the Most Valuable Player plum.
In women’s play, Female Paddlers drew first blood and handed the defending champions DLSU Lady Archers their lone loss of the season, 3-2.
Down 1-2 after three matches, UST never surrendered as Danica Marielle Alburo nailed a pressure-packed victory the expense of Chantal Alberto, 11-9, 11-8, 11-4.
Female Paddlers team captain Maria Niña Nacasabog provided the finishing touches for UST via four-setter victory.
La Salle wiped out the hope of the España-based paddlers for a championship in the second game as they came back strong, 3-0.
In the winner-take-all third game, UST Female Paddlers overcame a 0-2 disadvantage to tie things up at 2-2 via the crucial wins of Rachel Parba-Katrina Tempiatura tandem and Kate Louie Encarnacion.
Nacasabog could not deliver the goods for her squad in the fifth and final match as she ran out steam in a five-set thriller against Alberto, 3-11, 11-4, 11-6, 3-11, 10-12, to hand DLSU their back-to-back championship tilt.
“Sayang.” UST head coach Lorry Wadjad said. “Actually lamang sila [DLSU] sa skills at sa number of players na magaling tapos kami hinuhuli lang namin ‘yung depensa nila at nilalaban lang talaga namin para manalo.”
Male Paddlers will lose the key services of Abalanque, Baltazar and Pantoja due to graduation while Paul Michael Que and Female Paddlers’ Nacasabog are yet to decide if they will utilize their last playing year next season.
Junior Tiger Paddlers finished first and third place in the girls’ and boys’ division, respectively.

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UST Female Paddlers suvive FEU’s scare, barge into finals

“Finally, our plan progressed.”

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The University of Santo Tomas Female Paddlers earned hard-fought victories against the second-seeded Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws in the semifinals of the UAAP Season 79 women’s table tennis tournament, Wednesday, at the Blue Eagle Gym in Quezon City.

The España-based paddlers shook off their slow start and tallied 3-1 and 3-2 wins over the Lady Tamaraws who were armed with a twice-to-beat advantage.

“Our game plan talaga is on the edge of our lineup,” UST head coach Lorry Wadjad said. “And finally, our plan progressed.”

Battling with their backs against the wall on the rubber match, 0-2, the Female Paddlers rose to the occasion to tie things up at 2-2 via straight set outings of UST’s Katrina Tempiatura-Rachel Parba tandem and the five-setter triumph of Kate Louie Encarnacion.

Female Paddler Danica Marielle Alburo slipped past FEU’s Irish Mae Escobido on their fifth and deciding play, 12-10, 12-10, 15-13, to finally put her squad into the next round.

Earlier that day, UST kept their finals appearance hopes alive as they escaped FEU, 3-1.

After dropping the first game, Female Paddler team captain Nica Nacasabog started the winning momentum for UST as she needed five sets to dispatch Lady Tamaraws’ Escobido.

The Tempiatura-Parba duo outmuscled their FEU counterparts off straight sets advantage. UST’s Encarnacion provided the finishing touches with a 9-11, 11-9, 11-7, 14-12 victory over Shamiela Pineda.

“A lot of learnings (sic) para sa mga bata itong do or die games namin ngayon,” Wadjad said. “Una is motivation, then next is how to be strong and firm to their decisions [sa loob ng court].”

The UST Female and Male Paddlers will be put to test as they face defending champions De La Salle University on Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the same venue.

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