University of Santo Tomas annexed its third straight championship in the men’s division of UAAP Collegiate Table Tennis after sweeping first-time finalist Ateneo de Manila University, 2-0, in the championship series, Saturday at the Makati Coliseum.
This is UST’s first title of the season and its 29th championship in the league for the event — its fourth in five seasons.
On the other hand, De La Salle University regained the women’s title after ceding the championship to UST for two seasons, with a 2-0 sweep in the finals series.
The Lady Green Paddlers gave La Salle its first crown in the season — its seventh overall in the event.
Alvin Sevilla kickstarted both ties with wins for the Male Tiger Paddlers after winning both the first singles matches of the two ties.
The senior paddler took care of Blue Paddler Andrew Uy, 11-3, 11-3, and 11-8 in the first tie, before denying rookie Mahendra Cabrido in a marathon in the second, 11-8, 8-11, 11-5, 7-11, 14-12, to put UST on the board at 1-0 in both contests.
Sevilla was hailed as the Men’s MVP.
Al Sanchez and Prince Garcia finished the job for UST in the doubles rubber.
The Thomasian duo won over Zherdel Frasco and Sean Uy, 11-13, 11-5, 12-10, 11-9 to complete the sweep of the first tie, 3-0. They then secured the title after stopping Mark Parman and Sean Uy, 11-5, 11-9, and 11-8.
“Na-retain natin ‘yung championship after two years ng pandemic and this time, three-peat na siya, so talagang overwhelming,” UST men’s head coach Jackson Que said. “Same as before, ‘yung team is talagang buo kami — united and one for God. We are one for our team, one for our family, and one for ourselves.”
Meanwhile, Angel Laude and Kyla Bernaldez were keys for the Lady Green Paddlers in their bid to reclaim the women’s title.
Laude took care of Kaye Encarnacion in the first singles match of the first tie, 11-6, 11-7, 11-4, before Bernaldez clinched the tie, 11-4, 11-4, 11-8, in the third singles rubber, against Julie Anne de Leon. The two then put La Salle to a 2-0 lead in the second tie with Bernaldez over Leigh Villanueva, 12-10, 10-12, 11-7, 11-8, and Laude against Emery Digamon, 11-7, 8-11, 11-3, 11-3.
Mariana Caoile and Jhoana Go then won it all in the second tie with an 11-4, 11-4, 10-12, 11-9 conquest of Ciara Derecho and Sherlyn Gabisay in the doubles match.
La Salle head coach Lauro Crisostomo said, “Yung championship namin against UST is napakahirap. Alam naman natin na yung UST is malaking program and sila yung defending champion eh. So ginawa lang namin at sinabi sa players ko na focus lang, ilabas lang nila lahat ng pinractice namin. Yung skills ilabas lang nila.”
La Salle’s Jannah Romero, who no longer needed to play in the Finals, was crowned the women’s MVP.
On the other hand, Far Eastern University freshman Aizel Mae Rom was the top rookie of the tournament.