Posted Feb 16th 2014
UP chews La Salle’s thrice-to-beat edge to win women’s plum
By Anthony Divinagracia Posted Nov 4th 2013
University of the Philippines (UP) overcome a huge thrice-to-beat disadvantage to unseat defending champion De La Salle University and clinch the 76th UAAP women’s table tennis title at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Lady Maroons methodically broke down the heavily favored Lady Archers with a sleek pairing strategyn anchored on MVPs JomaSibal and Bea Magpantay to grab the psychological edge and regain the title they last won in Season 74.
Raring to avenge back-to-back losses to La Salle in the eliminations, Sibal, the Season 76 MVP, sparked UP’s phenomenal sweep with a telling 3-1 rout of Jamaica Sy in Game 1.
Magpantay, the Season 74 MVP,and doubles partner RichandaChing proved untouchable in the entire series and bailed the Lady Maroons out of trouble several times.
In the series opener, the Magpantay-Chingtandem nippedDarian Talento and AngelieYanela, 3-2, to regain the lead for UP after La Salle tied the count at 1-all, following Season 75 MVP Ian Lariba’s3-1 win over Rowena Morales.
Season 76 Rookie of the Year Noriko Nishino then capped Game 1 with a 3-0 drubbing of Marcela Galera.
La Salle drew first blood in Game 2 with Lariba blanking Morales, 3-0. But UP fought back as Lusha Maderal clobbered Galera to hack out the same result. Magpantay and Ching again put the Lady Maroons ahead in doubles before Nishino wrapped up the contest in the last singles match.
With their season and crown on the line, the Lady Archers again seized the initiative as Lariba took out Sibal, 3-0, to kick off Game 3. Morales evened the score via a 3-0 shellacking of Dona Gamila.
Again, Magpantay and Ching shoved UP upfront with a 3-0victory in the lone doubles pairing. But Nishino failed to close out the series after yielding a 0-3 result to Sy, forcing the winner-take-all fifth match.
But there was no denying UP’s date with destiny as Maderal shutout Galera, 3-0, to give the Lady Maroons their sixth league title.
If there’s any consolation for the Lady Archers, La Salle sweptFar Eastern University, 2-0, to regain the men’s title.