Entering Ninoy Aquino Stadium with nothing to lose, the Ateneo de Manila University Blue Paddlers and Lady Paddlers were set to erase the horrors of last year in their first round matches at the UAAP Table Tennis Tournament. Coming from a painful, winless season, the Blue Paddlers now seem to be headed to a similar ending. The Lady Paddlers, who were able to notch a single victory last year, look bound for an even more terrible outcome, as they too exit the first round without a victory.
Going in with the aim of improving from last season, the Blue Paddlers tried their best to begin the tournament with a win. Unfortunately for them, they not only failed to notch an opening victory against Adamson University, but were ultimately beaten in a heartless 0-3 sweep.
The defeat against AdU was only the beginning. More hardships would follow for the Blue Paddlers, as they were dispatched by their succeeding opponent, FEU (1-3), then by NU, and UST, who both managed to win 0-3.
The second day was no better for the Blue Paddlers as rivals DLSU, neighbors UP, and UE ultimately quashed all hopes to end the first round with a victory.
Similarly, the ADMU Lady Paddlers also entered the the competition with nothing to lose after a single win last season. Opening their UAAP Season 78 run with an early defeat at hands of UE, who triumphed 0-3, the Lady Paddlers were struck with the same bad outcome their male counterparts experienced, despite generally performing better.
Heralded by the defeat against UE, the Lady Paddlers experienced a downward spiral in the entire first round as UP, AdU, and DLSU would overwhelm them 0-3, 2-3, and 0-3, respectively, on the first day.
The second day did not look any brighter for the embattled Lady Paddlers as they would again fall to defeat, failing to hold their ground against NU, FEU, and UST.
As the only team still winless, the ADMU Blue Paddlers and Lady Paddlers have been left behind the pack, as they both settled for eighth place.