Rio-bound table tennis star a proud product of DLSU and UAAP
ABS-CBN Sports on Apr 18, 2016 05:15 PM
Photo courtesy of the ITTF Facebook page.Still on cloud nine after claiming the "golden ticket" to Rio in the recently-concluded 2016 ITTF-Asia Olympic Games Qualification Tournament in Hong Kong, table tennis star Ian Lariba made the Philippines proud.
"Basta grabe po, It still feels surreal. I am just really thankful and grateful for the moment. Sobrang nakakataba po ng puso nong makita ko rin po na masaya ang mga Filipino na nakamit natin," said Lariba, who is also the reigning UAAP MVP after leading De La Salle to its fourth title last October.
By making it to the Olympics, Lariba is also a heavy favorite to win a second straight UAAP Athlete of the Year at the conclusion of Season 78 action next month.
Ranked no. 324 on the women’s world rankings, Lariba arrived in the country Monday being the Philippines' first table tennis player to make it in the Olympics.
"Lagi ko naman pong sinasabi na hindi lang po ako ang may gawa nito. Dahil rin po ito sa lahat ng dasal, suporta at inspirasyon ng mga kababayan natin, ng mga coaches, kababayan at pamilya ko. Para po sa ating lahat ito," said Lariba.
Lariba beat Indonesia’s Lilis Inoriani, 11-6, 11-2, 11-8, 11-5, in the last day of the qualifiers over the weekend to secure qualification for the Olympic Games in Rio.
Lariba has a remarkable career in the UAAP, going undefeated in her five-year stint for the Lady Archers.