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Unforgettable stint: Walden Ledesma exits UAAP with five podium finishes

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Season 78 has been a remarkable year for not just the collegiate table tennis teams of DLSU, but also for the juniors squads, as La Salle capped an impressive quad-championship in the UAAP tournament. For the Men’s division, senior Walden Ledesma was accustomed in winning for the school and exhausted his playing years giving La Salle a three-peat championship.

Ledesma bagged the Rookie of the Year honors back in Season 74 and was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player in Season 76 and 78. His team came up short in his first two playing years against UST, as his Green Paddlers ended in 3rd and 2nd place, respectively. However, Ledesma and the rest of his squad charged for the next three years, as they bagged the title in the Men’s Table Tennis scene.

Prior to the season, the team captain of the Green Paddlers knew that defending the championship for a second straight time won’t be easy. However, he stressed how he believes in the team, which ultimately paid off after they defeated UST in the finale.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Unforgettable stint: Walden Ledesma exits UAAP with five podium finishes

“It’s gonna be hard this season. I know it will take everything we’ve got. Pero we are made to be in this podium. Naniniwala ako na kaya namin,” he said.

As the Sports Studies graduate of DLSU played every year with a podium recognition, he states his thankfulness towards La Salle for giving him the opportunity to represent the university. The MVP award was a bonus for the team-first Ledesma. He continuously praised his teammates’ hardwork throughout the season.

Aside from bagging the Season 78 title, he thinks that this championship is the sweetest, considering how proud he is with the team, and how confident he is in leaving the team in the hands of his younger teammates. He added “I think it’s sweet enough na nakikita ko yung teammates ko na nagse-step up. All out and binigay nila everything sa lahat ng laban namin.”

“Utang ko lahat to sa teammates ko. Hindi lang ‘to dahil sakin [championships], it’s all about the team. Di dahil nag achieve ako, ako lang. Nag achieve ako ng MVP, but that doesn’t mean ako lang. Lahat kami MVP, at kung pwede lang sana hati-hatiin to(MVP award), gagawin ko. Thankful ako na sa team na to ako nag grow. Yung championship inaalay namin sa Lasallian community.”

When asked on how he fairs his team in the Season 79 and the coming years, his utmost confidence continues as the drive to win is still instilled in his beloved squad.

“Sure ako next UAAP kaya nila makuya yan. Proud ako sakanila. Andiyan yung puso and culture nila and legacy na maiiwan ko. Mapo-promise ko na yung 4-peat, kaya nila yan.”

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Unforgettable stint: Walden Ledesma exits UAAP with five podium finishes

As his UAAP career is now set in the books, Ledesma shares about the next chapter in his life will be. “(I’m) now taking up Graduate Studies in Marketing Communications. I actually applied already for MVP Companies. They asked me to join their team because they have MVP Table Tennis tournaments. Aside from that, I just want to enjoy the moment. Memento vivere (living in the moment).”

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