Almost three hundred paddlers from Negros, Panay and Cebu trooped to the Ayala Central Capitol Mall, Bacolod City on Wednesday, October 5, to take part in the 1st Mayor Albee Benitez Table Tennis Cup, as part of Bacolod City’s Super MassKara Festival 2022.
“This tournament demonstrates the concern and support of Mayor Albee Benitez and his administration to the grassroots development of sports in the city. The experience you gain from your participation ensures that each one of you is already a winner,” said Bacolod City Councilor Kalaw Puentevella, who represented the mayor.
“What makes this tourney even more exciting is that we have the presence and participation of no less than the president of the Philippine Table Tennis Federation (PTTF), Mr. Ting Ledesma,” Puentevella pointed out.
Ledesma thanked the city officials for including table tennis among the MassKara Festival’s sports activities, and he expressed PTTF’s support for the celebration. He also urged all participants to remember the late Diotay Lopue, who passionately supported the sport and contributed tremendously to its development.
“Just like 11-year-old Khevine Keith Cruz here, the silver medalist in the World Table Tennis Youth Contender in Bangkok, Thailand last month, and his sister 14-year-old Keith Rhynne Cruz, you have the potential to excel in your sport. You are the next generation of national table tennis players,” Ledesma encouraged the participants.
Despite her young age, Keith Rhynne Cruz, who led the oath of sportsmanship, is the country’s top women’s table tennis player. She is a veteran international campaigner and is among the top 500 players in the International Table Tennis Federation rankings.
The three-day tourney, which played its championship round yesterday, is under the auspices of the Balik Yuhom Foundation, headed by MassKara Festival Director Atty. Pinky Mirano-Ocampo, in partnership with the Table Tennis Legends Association of Bacolod (TTLAB) headed by Chairman Jacksi Go, President Rudy Sy and Vice-President Nicky Puentevella.
Cebu City-based Henry Chua, a table tennis enthusiast and active patron of the sport, donated a Robopong to the TTLAB. The Robopong is a ping-pong robot which can be programmed to eject table tennis balls in random directions to help a player sharpen his reflexes as he practices on his own.
The tourney features the age group category (16 under, 12 under and 10 under) and team events (National Open, Negros Open and Invitational Executive Category).*