PH flag-bearer Ian Lariba bows down to Congolese in Rio Olympics

MANILA, Philippines - Just hours after the opening of 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, lone Filipina spinner and the country's flag-bearer Ian “Yan-Yan” Lariba had a tough match-up against Han Xing of Congo.

Yanyan Lariba bows down to mighty Congolese in Rio Olympics
Team Philippines suffered its first Olympic casualty as YanYan Lariba bowed down to her Congolese-Chinese opponent in Table Tennis event. Photo Credit: Reuters
Lariba obviously felt intimidated by her Congolese-Chinese opponent had missed 4 points in a row. After a slow and rough start, the Filipina leftie rallied and got even - 6 all.

Xing broke the deadlock with a thunderous drive to Lariba's right but missed her next attempt that gave a chance to the Pinay spinner to tie the set 7 apiece.

Lariba made a net error and gave the opening set to Xing.

The first set looked so shaky for the Filipina athlete, but she was too quick to atone her set loss by scoring 4-0 in the second canto.

As Lariba was getting her momentum, Xing came back too strong and made her counterpart missed her spins. The Congolese evened the set 6 all.

Lariba refused to be downed by two sets to none. She carefully and accurately took her shots for a good rally.

The second set was the best one for both Philippines and Congo and it went to a deuce. However, Lariba failed to level the match and handed the set once again to Xing, 13-11.

It was almost a good third set start for Philippines, but after leading 1-0, Congo steadily set the phase and forced her rival to commit errors for another set win, 11-9.

Downed by three sets to nothing, YanYan Lariba still displayed her unfazed fighting spirit and swung her paddle as hard as she can to gain 4-2 lead.

Unnecessary errors cost Philippines a lot. Midway of the set, Congo took the lead 7-5.

Xing spun towards to Lariba's weak spot for the win, four sets to nothing.

With Lariba’s defeat, Team Philippines suffered its first casualty in 2016 Rio Summer Olympics.

--Joey Boy Capos, The Summit Express

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