University of Santo Tomas leaned on the clutch experience of super senior Alvin Sevilla to subdue University of the Philippines, 3-1, to complete a three-tie romp on the first day of UAAP Season 85 men’s table tennis tournament, Sunday at the Makati Coliseum.
Meanwhile, De La Salle University and Far Eastern University grabbed the early lead on the women’s side as both carry 3-0 win-loss records.
The three-peat-seeking Tiger Paddlers also took care of University of the East and Ateneo de Manila University after an opening-tie bye and before defeating the Fighting Maroons.
Sevilla needed to fend off a first-set setback to stop UP’s Benz Florida, 14-16, 12-10, 11-8, 11-9, in the third singles match.
“Stay focused lang. Focus lang kami sa goal namin na makuha yung championship again. Back-to-zero lang ulit, walang standing-standing. Magtrabaho lang uli,” Sevilla shared on the team’s mindset.
The Blue Eagles stand at the second spot in the men’s division with a 3-1 win-loss record following wins over Adamson University, Far Eastern University, and University of the East against that lone defeat to UST.
The Soaring Falcons follow suit at 2-1, while the Fighting Maroons currently rounds the top four with 2-2.
Reigning women’s champion UST and its Season 82 runner-up Ateneo sit behind leaders Lady Green Paddlers and Lady Tamaraws.
The UST Lady Paddlers absorbed a 1-3 defeat from La Salle, while the Blue Eagles lost a close one against FEU at 2-3.
Lady Tamaraw Reshma Bagongon came from behind two games down to snatch the win over Ateneo’s Ana Calvo, 6-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-9, 11-7, in the deciding singles match.
The first round of eliminations is set on Monday with UST looking to stay on course on the men’s side, while La Salle and FEU lock arms in the women’s.