UST Tigers, NU Bullpups score UAAP table tennis titlesBy Mark Giongco
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas ruled the men’s division for a third straight time while National University reigned in the juniors division Thursday in the UAAP Season 75 table tennis tournament at the Blue Eagle Gym.
The Growling Tigers made short work of De La Salle, 3-0, to sweep their best-of-three Finals series.
UST earned a record 25th championship, with graduating skipper Martin Diaz and Alberto Bazar bagging the season MVP and Rookie of the Year honors, respectively.
“I gave my 100 percent in training, I gave whatever I could to motivate the boys because I know the road to get here is tough,” said the 31-year-old head coach Joseph Cruz in Filipino, who replaced Henbert Ortalla last summer.
“When I came in, I made sure they’ll enjoy this season and that they will be able to show their game and that’s what happened. I’m very happy,” added Cruz
The Tigers lost only once the entire season, a first round setback to the Green Archers.
Last season’s runner-up Far Eastern University, which lost to UST in the Final Four, finished third despite fielding in a rookie-laden line-up.
The Bullpups, meanwhile, completed an undefeated season by dethroning University of the East, 3-0, in the Finals.
NU leaned on MVP Ryan Jacolo all-season long to go 14-0, including a 12-game elimination round sweep.
“Nagbunga ang lahat ng paghihirap ng mga bata sa buong tournament,” said NU mentor Judit Yulde.
Jomari Ingeniero of the Junior Warriors was the season’s top rookie.