After 11 years, the Philippines has clinched a medal in men’s doubles in Southeast Asian Games table tennis.
John Russel Misal and Richard Gonzales fought hard before yielding to Singapore’s Clarence Chew and Ethan Poh, 3-1, to capture the silver in the said event, Wednesday at the Hai Duong Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Gonzales, a legend in Philippine table tennis, and a four-time SEA Games singles bronze medalist, paired up with Rodel Valle in that bronze-medal winning duo in the 2011 Jakarta Games in an edition dominated by the Singaporeans.
Misal, the UAAP Season 80 MVP from National University, and Gonzales took it p a notch this time and did by winning two matches in the first rounds that both went the distance of five games.
The Filipino pair edged out Thailand’s Phakpoom Sanguansin and Padasak Tanviriyavechakul in the quarterfinals on Tuesday, before eliminating the other Singaporean duo of Koen Pang Yew En and Josh Chua earlier in the day.
The feat was seen by Philippine Table Tennis Federation, Inc. (PTTFI) president Ting Ledesma and secretary-general Pong Ducanes, who both flew to Hanoi to support our national paddlers. Lauro Crisostomo is the head coach of the national squad.
Gonzales will look to go better than his string of bronze medal finishes and Misal will try to carry this momentum as the men’s singles competitions roll on the next few days.