Ageless Gonzales assured of bronze in SEA Games table tennis
Mark Escarlote on Jun 03, 2015 06:34 PM
Gonzales won his third straight game in the men's singles table tennis competition of the 28th Southeast Asian Games (photo courtesy Pong Ducanes).
SINGAPORE --- Ageless Pinoy bet Richard Gonzales assured himself of at least a bronze medal in the 28th Southeast Asian Games men’s singles table tennis competition after his third straight win in the group stage battle at the Singapore Indoor Stadium here.
The 44-year-old table paddler swept his erstwhile undefeated Vietnamese foe Tuan Quyn Tran, 11-3, 11-6, 15-13, to remain unscathed in the 5-man Group C field to bring a flicker of hope on a bleak day for the Philippine squad.
Gonzales will close the prelims against Malaysian Muhamad Muhamad Thursday and will advance in the semifinals whatever the result.
The top teams in the four group stage are already assured of a bronze.
But Gonzales’ luck didn’t rub off on his teammates.
The mixed doubles tandem of Sendrina Balatbat and Ryan Jacolo fell short in their quarterfinals match against local table paddlers Mengyu Yu and Zi Yang, 11-5, 11-1, 11-5.
Balatbat suffered her second defeat of the day in the women’s singles Group B round robin stage against Malaysian Rou You Lee, 4-11, 11-6, 6-11, 3-11, to drop out of contention for a semifinals slot with a 0-2 record.
Top ranked Pinay bet Ian Lariba of De La Salle suffered the same fate after losing to Thai opponent Suthasini Sawettabut, 6-11, 10-12, 7-11, for her second loss in the women’s singles in as many outings.
Jacolo dropped his second straight game in the singles event in a 7-11, 3-11, 8-11 drubbing from Vietnamese Tien Dat Le.
The men’s singles semifinals and finals will also be played Thursday.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles