RI drubs Maris Stella to reach C Division table tennis finals
Raffles Institution (RI) continued their hot streak by defeating Maris Stella High School (MSHS) in the Schools Nationals boys' C Division table tennis semi-finals at Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Secondary) yesterday.
The defending champions flexed their might with a 3-0 drubbing of MSHS, sending a clear signal that they are still the ones to beat this season.
Chia Jun Yuen paved the way by beating MHSH's Ezekiel Yeo 8-11, 11-5, 11-8, 11-9 to give RI the lead.
In the doubles event, Rafflesians Brendon Hong and Jong Yik Kiat showed no signs of slowing down as they downed Thaddeus Chan and Aloysius Tan in straight sets (11-5, 11-9, 11-6).
RI captain Lim Dao Yi then ended MSHS's hopes of a comeback, overpowering Max Toh 9-11, 12-10, 12-10, 11-3 in a closely contested showdown.
RI's teacher-in-charge, Tan Chiew Sern, praised his captain for his resolve.
The 40-year-old said: "Dao Yi put on a great display of resilience and fighting spirit.
"His performance serves as an inspiration for the team and the juniors.
"It's a close fight and our players did rise to the occasion to overcome the pressure."
Dao Yi had to come from behind in his match, after losing the opening set.
The 14-year-old said: "I tried to calm down and regain composure.
"I had to add more speed to my serves and strokes to outdo my opponent's style of play.
The Secondary 2 student is looking forward to a mouth-watering rematch against Hwa Chong Institution (HCI) in the final.
HCI , who won 3-0 against Victoria School in the other semi-finals yesterday, lost in last year's finals to RI.
Said Dao Yi: "RI has won the titles across the divisions so we'd like to maintain that dominance.
"I believe that teamwork and support for each other will win us the final against Hwa Chong."