FOR Ian Lariba.
De La Salle needed three games to beat University of Santo Tomas and remain in the throne Monday night in the UAAP Season 80 table tennis tournament at the UP CHK Gym.
After dropping the championship opener, 2-3, that ended a 14-game winning run, La Salle was able to bounce back in the next two to beat the Tigresses via identical 3-1 scores to win the series, which it dedicates to former table tennis star and Olympian Lariba, who was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML) last May and is still recovering in the hospital.
Emy Rose Dael, who took over from Lariba, won her second straight MVP award, while giving Jamaica Sy and Mardeline Carreon a grand send-off to their collegiate careers.
De La Salle clinched its fifth women’s championship in the last six years.
Rio Olympian Lariba was instrumental for the Lady Paddlers’ dynasty and was a part of coaching staff last season.
Ateneo’s Joana Chen bagged the Rookie of the Year honors.
In the men’s division, National University won its first-ever men’s title, ending UST’s reign with a 3-1 victory in the Finals decider to annex the crown.
NU defeated UST, 3-2, in the opener for the Tigers got a lifeline after scoring a 3-2 win Game 2.
John Misal of the Bulldogs was named the season MVP.
It was a double celebration for NU as its boy’s team won a second straight championship after blanking UST in their do-or-die match, 3-0, with Stephen John Deiz emerging as MVP.
The UST’s girls’ team, meanwhile, completed a perfect season capped by a 3-1 conquest of De La Salle-Zobel.