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Tigers sweep table tennis elims

Defending champion University of Santo Tomas entered the final outright after completing a sweep of the elimination round of the University Athletic Association of the Philippines Season 85 men’s table tennis tournament Thursday at the Makati Coliseum.

The Tiger Paddlers blanked Far Eastern University, 3-0, for a perfect 12-0 win-loss record.

The pair of Manny De Leon and Prince Garcia completed the dominating wing with an 11-4, 11-8, 11-6, victory over Ram Balanquit and Arvin Morales in their doubles match, handing UST an automatic ticket to the best-of-three championship.

Meanwhile, Ateneo de Manila University moved to the semifinals with crucial wins over Adamson University, 3-2, and De La Salle University, 3-1.

Andrew Uy won all his assignments of the day including an 11-6, 11-6, 4-11, 11-8, victory over Dino Gabriel Marcelo in the third singles match to dispatch the Green Paddlers.

La Salle and Adamson will battle in the first round of the stepladder playoffs after finishing tied at third with identical 7-5 records.

In the distaff side, the Lady Green Paddlers fended off the Lady Falcons, 3-2, in their last elims tie for a 12-0 record.

Kyla Bernaldez beat Allysa Diaño in the deciding singles match, 11-6, 11-3, 11-6, to secure La Salle’s automatic trip to the Finals.

The Blue Eagles, meanwhile, swooped past defending champion UST, 3-0, with Kathleene Bulaqueña and Ana Calvo taking the doubles rubber, 11-9, 11-9, 11-5, over Kathlyn Gabisay and Leigh Villanueva.

The Lady Paddlers will battle Far Eastern University in the first round of the stepladder of the women’s side Friday, with the winner facing Ateneo in a one-tie playoff for a place in the Finals.

In the high school division, UST and De La Salle-Santiago Zobel School arranged championship showdowns in both the boys’ and girls’ divisions.

The Junior Green Paddlers topped Junior Tiger Paddlers, 3-1, for a 10-0 sweep of the elims.

Troy Docto completed the 3-1 win and the eventual elims sweep in the third singles match, 11-6, 11-7, 13-11, against Lawrence Melendez in a preview of their best-of-three championship showdown on Saturday.

University of the East and Adamson University dispute the bronze medal as of press time after ending the elims tied at third place with identical 5-5 slates.

Meanwhile, reigning champions Junior Lady Green Paddlers denied the Junior Tigresses a sweep after eking out a 3-1 win in their tie.

Chrishien Santillan closed it out with an 11-7, 11-5, 6-11, 11-8 conquest of Shaira Gabisay that tied the two squads’ record to 9-1 heading into the championship round.

Adamson secured the bronze medal in the girls’ division after ending with a 6-4 record following a 3-1 victory over University of the Philippines Integrated School.

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