Lariba qualifies in Nat’l Open, wins Cojuangco Cup Luzon title

By Josef Ramos

DE LA Salle’s Ian ‘Yan-yan’ Lariba earned a qualifying slot yesterday for the national open in the 1st Jose ‘Peping’ Cojuangco Jr. Cup National Table Tennis Luzon Qualification tournament after winning the girls’ 17-under class at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Lariba, 17, bested all the participants in the girls’ 17-under class including her final opponent Lyr Lea of University of the East (UE), 11-9, 11-5, 11-5, to gain a ticket for the national open tournament scheduled this year in October.
“I’m very excited to play in the national open and play against the best,” said the Cagayan De Oro native Lariba, who is a former member of the Philippine team. “I’m expecting the national open will be more competitive because the presence of players from the provinces.”

Lariba also captured the women’s singles open crown after upsetting national player Ayra Malabayabas, 12-10, 9-11, 11-8, 11-8, for a second title. In the men’s open singles finals, national player Rodel Valle bashed Ryan Rodney Jaleco, 11-8, 11-6, 11-4, to take home the trophy.

In the boys’ 17-under division, Ryan Rodney Jaleco of Nashspinner beat Daniel Cua of Filipino-Chinese Table Tennis Association (FCTTA), 11-8, 11-7, 12-10, for the title and a slot for the national open.
In the boys’ 14-under division, Carlo Mateo of Saint Martin crushed Alvin Menard Sevilla, 11-8, 11-6, 11-6, to win the crown. In the girls’ 14 class, Celine Ching of FCTTA whipped Celina Vasquez of UE, 11-5, 11-9, 11-8, also for the title.

The Cojuangco Cup will also be held in Cebu for the Visayas Leg and Davao City for the Mindanao leg this year, according to new Table Tennis Association of the Philippines President Ting Ledesma.

The winners of the Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao legs will collide in the national open tournament in October to determine the members of the new Philippine team.

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