Lady Paddlers secure first podium finish of season, claims bronze title

FEU Advocate
November 26, 2023 03:38

By Andrei M. Barrantes

Far Eastern University (FEU) Lady Paddlers finished third on the podium after losing two games against Ateneo de Manila University (AdMU) Blue Eagles, 2-3, 0-3, in their University Athletic Association (UAAP) season 86 women’s table tennis tourney final four bout last Wednesday, November 22 at the Amoranto Sports Complex Arena in Quezon City.

The Morayta-based paddlers finished the eliminations ranking second with a 9-3 record,earning a twice-to-beat advantage in the final four.

In the first bout against AdMU, the green-and-gold lady paddlers lost 2-3 despite taking victories in the singles division. Sophomore standout Aizel Rom and Shairah Gabisay dominated their matches against blue-and-white lady paddlers Jelaine Monteclaro and Borbon, respectively.

However, the Morayta squad fell one two wins short as lady paddler Liezl Cañada lost a five-set stunner to Katipunan paddler Kathleene Bulaqueña while FEU’s Reshma Bagongon was quickly swept by AdMU’s Fabregar.

Lastly, the green-and-gold duo in the doubles division Kaela Martinez and Glieza Ampalid absorbed a 4-11, 6-11, 11-8, and 9-11 loss.

In the win-or-go-home afternoon showdown, the Tamaraw paddlers were swiftly handled in the first two singles games, four sets a piece. 

Though Ampalid and Martinez came within inches to a comeback, a net error would doom the Morayta squad’s finals hopes and lift the Katipunan squad to the next level.

Despite the close loss, Ampalid showed nothing but gratitude and acceptance in a post-game interview with FEU Advocate.

“In UAAP Season 86, being part of the final four matches against Ateneo was a big opportunity. Playing in such a competitive season filled me with gratitude, especially as our team had a chance to win. Despite defeating Ateneo in the eliminations, unfortunately we fell short in the crucial match,” Ampalid said.

Ampalid relished the opportunity to compete not just in the elimination rounds, but in the final four matches against a table tennis powerhouse in AdMU.

“This season has taught me the importance of always giving my best, as we never know what will happen in the future. Giving my best shot so there will be no regrets. I am still grateful for the chance to contribute to the team's journey in Season 86 and look forward to continuing my growth in future seasons.”

FEU Lady Paddlers concluded their season 86 campaign with a bronze trophy, giving FEU its first podium finish of the season.

(Photo courtesy of The UAAP)