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Team Joola enters semis in int’l pingpong tourney

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MANILA — Joola, led by world championship campaigner John Russell Misal, defeated 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 the Harrison Plaza Activity Center.

Misal bounced back from a first-set loss to beat George Quijano, 8-11, 11-8, 11-7, 11-9; Chinese import Chen Lei Xin downed Kim Ramos, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6; and Alexis Bolante won by default over Homer Tiongson in the quarterfinal round.

Also booking semifinal berths in the tournament organized by Table Tennis Association for National Development (TATAND) were Indonesia, Hua Ching and 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 powered Hua Ching to a 3-0 win over Jade Dragon, while University of Taipei, represented by Huang Yu-Jen, Chen Chun-Hsiang and Sung Min-Hong, prevailed over Green Paddle, 3-0.

Joola, whose line-up also include Jong “The Asian Killer” Ortalla, Charlie Lim and Philip Uy, won over Malaysia (3-1), Fleet Marine (3-0) and University of Santo Tomas (3-0) in the first round to gain a quarterfinal slot.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Chin Wen Jei downed Merwin Edel of La Salle, 3-1, to arrange a second-round showdown in the singles with Homer Tiongson of Philippine Army. Tiongson outplayed University of Santo Tomas bet Ramon Gomez, 3-2.

More than 400 players are competing in the tournament which gives P50,000 for the team champion and P10,000 each to the men’s singles and women’s singles winners. (PNA)