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Tiebreaker Times

2016 Olympic Games

Lariba bows out of Rio 2016

Experience trumped enthusiasm.

Despite a strong showing, UAAP Athlete of the Year and first-time Olympian Ian Lariba exits the 2016 Summer Olympics after losing to Han Xing of Congo in straight sets in their preliminary round match of the women’s singles event of Table Tennis, at the Riocentro – Pavilion 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday evening.

“Sayang. Dikit naman except sa end game,” Lariba told Abac Cordero of Philippine Star. “May tension at kaba pa ako. But I will bring home this learning experience.”

The Chinese-born player from Congo led from the start and never looked back, taking the first frame, 11-7.

In the second game, the 21-year-old Filipina pulled off some spectacular defensive plays and converted on her chances to kill the rallies. The Filipina led by as much as four, and was on the cusp of leveling the match at 10-9. However, errors late in that second canto from Lariba conceded the game to Han, 13-11.

The third set was a gritty affair as the Filipina and the Congolese exchanged shots. The game was tied at six when Han started to pull away as she connected on her backhand shots, despite a change of aggressiveness from Lariba. The All-Africa Games medalist then slowly inched towards a 3-0 set advantage and closed out the third at 11-9.

Han started the fourth game on a good run and once again led by as much as four after Lariba took the first point. From there, the Congolese pounced on the chance and breezed through another big game. Han finished off the match with an aggressive shot to Lariba’s body, 11-7, sealing her progression to the tournament main draw.

#ReadMore  2018 was the year of the Filipina athlete

“There’s reason behind everything,” Lariba concluded.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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