Team Joola pulled off another spectacular game in beating Philippine Army, 3-0, on Saturday to reach the semifinal round of the Men’s Team Open division in the 9th Flexible Cup International Table Tennis Championships at Harrison Plaza Activity Center in Malate, Manila.
World Championships of Pingpong campaigner John Russell Misal bounced back from a sloppy start to beat George Quijano, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9, and anchored Team Joola’s domination en route to another sweep in the tournament organized by the Table Tennis Association for National Development and supported by Flexible Packaging Corporation.
Earlier, Chinese import Chen Lei Xin waylaid Kim Ramos, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6, while Alexis Bolante won via walk over against Homer Tiongson as Team Joola entered the semifinals without losing a match. They were joined by Indonesia, Hua Ching ang University of Taipei.
Indonesia, composed of Zahru Nailufar, Bima Abdi Negara and Luki Purkani, pulled off a 3-0 victory over Malaysia.
National team members Richard Gonzales and Jann Mari Nayre, meanwhile, powered Hua Ching to a 3-0 win over Jade Dragon, while University of Taipei, composed of Huang Yu-Jen, Chen Chun-Hsiang and Sung Min-Hong, overwhelmed Green Paddle, 3-0.
Joola, whose line-up also included Jong “The Asian Killer” Ortalla, Charlie Lim and Philip Uy, downed Malaysia (3-1), Fleet Marine (3-0) and University of Santo Tomas (3-0) in the first round to gain a quarterfinal slot.
In the men’s Open singles’ event, Malaysian Chin Wen Jei defeated Merwin Edel of La Salle, 3-1, to arrange a second-round showdown with Tiongson of Philippine Army. Tiongson outplayed University of Santo Tomas bet Ramon Gomez, 3-2.
Over 400 players are competing in the six-division tournament which gives P50,000 for the team champion and P10,000 each to the men’s singles and women’s singles winners.
The top individual players in their respective class are automatically included in the TATAND delegation, which will send to China for Sports Exchange program as part of the association’s grassroots sports program, according to TATAND honorary president Charlie Lim.