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Green Archers dig deep against UST to clinch third straight championship



The DLSU Men’s Table Tennis Team defeated UST to claim a third consecutive UAAP Men’s Table Tennis Championship.

DLSU and UST finished first and second respectively at the end of the elimination round, giving the two schools a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. Both teams only needed one game each to reach the Finals. DLSU did so at NU’s expense while UST knocked out FEU.

Ledesma sets the tone in the first tie

As one of the pillars of DLSU this Season 78, Walden Ledesma displayed his determination to end his UAAP career with a championship via his 3-0 sweep of UST’s Gil Ablanque in the first singles match. All three sets were close encounters but Ledesma managed to fend off Ablanque. The scores for the match were 11-8, 11-9, and 12-10.

UST pulled one back courtesy of Adolfo Bazar Jr.’s 3-1 over DLSU’s Jethro Yatco in the second singles match. Bazar seized the first two sets 11-8 and 11-7. Yatco then claimed the third set 9-11. In the fourth set, Yatco focused on equalizing the match but Bazar maintained his composure to narrowly win 12-10.

Tarak Cabrido and Edmund Garganian Jr. represented DLSU in the doubles match for which UST selected Norielle Pantoja and Christian Abendan. The Green Archers swept the Growling Tigers in this match 3-0, controlling the tempo all throughout. The Growling Tigers were no match for the Green Archers this time. Scores for the match were 11-4, 11-8 and 11-5.

It was left to Francis Garganian to seal the tie for DLSU while UST relied on Alberto Bazar to provide a lifeline. Garganian and Bazar were neck and neck with each other, especially in the first set. Garganian eventually snatched the first set 13-11. Garganian then had an easier time in the second set where he won 11-7. Not to be undone, Bazar earned the third set 8-11 to give himself a chance to overturn Garganian. However, Garganian recovered to narrowly beat Bazar in the fourth set 11-9. Garganian settled the match 3-1 to secure the first tie of the finals for DLSU.

Mateo wins it at the end

The second finals tie was a much closer affair than the previous one, with a final score of 3-2 in favor of DLSU.

DLSU started Yatco this time around against UST’s Bazar for the first singles match. Bazar won a close first set 12-10 but Yatco came back to get the second 9-11. The third was another tight affair where Yatco who prevailed 11-13. Bazar then forced a fifth set after an 11-9 success in the fourth. Bazar had momentum at his side, which he didn’t waste and roundly defeated Yatco 11-8 in the fifth set to collect the match 3-2. First blood to UST in the second finals tie.

For the second singles match, DLSU’s Ledesma enjoyed a dramatic come-from-behind victory at the expense of UST’s Ablanque. Ablanque took the first two sets 13-11 and 11-7. Undeterred, Ledesma surged back to win the next three sets 11-9, 11-5, and 11-1 to stun Ablanque.

The doubles match saw DLSU’s Cabrido and Garganian Jr. return to face UST’s Pantoja and Alberto Bazar who took this set 3-1. The Growling Tigers grabbed the first two sets 13-11 and 11-7. The Green Archers then took the third set 11-13. It would prove to be a false dawn as the Growling Tigers held on to take the fourth set with an astonishing scoreline of 17-15 after multiple rallies.

DLSU’s Francis Garganian was up next versus UST’s Paul Que. Frances Garganian won the first set 11-8, for which Que countered in the second set 9-11. The third set proved to be the most important in the match as Francis Garganian squeaked past Que 12-10. Afterwards, Francis Garganian won the fourth 11-4, with Que already exhausted.

This set up a rubber match between DLSU rookie Carlo Mateo and UST’s Christian Abendan. Abendan captured the first set 13-15. Determined not to let the championship slip, Mateo won the next three sets 11-8, 11-6, and 11-9 to end the series and secure the title for DLSU. After the tie, Ledesma and Mateo were awarded the MVP and Rookie of the Year honors for UAAP Season 78.


Lorenzo's a frustrated author who knows a thing or two about Football and Basketball. Went all green from Ortigas to Taft. Supports Liverpool FC, FC Bayern Munich and the Alaska Aces