Centurion strikes back in table tennis

After losing in the triples format to Pretoria Moot less than two months ago, Centurion struck back on last week in the doubles competition.

The inaugural Sports Challenges Table Tennis Doubles Series was held over six legs in three venues, with only the top players invited to play in the finals night held at Cue Masters in Gezina.

As in the triples before, it was the lower-seeded and visiting team that prevailed in the final. Although Fanie Slabbert and Gawie Espag (both from the Moot Mavericks) finished top of the individual log after six events and therefore had the higher seeding going into the final, the visiting Prevlin Naidoo and Ronald ‘Chico’ Lawrence proved just too strong, winning the final 3 sets to 1.

“As usual, Fanie and Gawie gave us the strongest competition. We just focused on one point at a time and stuck to our game plan,” said Prevlin Naidoo afterwards.

“Doubles table tennis puts a very different spin on the format. You rely a lot on your partner and the chemistry that you have as a team. Each shot that you play affects the way your partner receives his next shot. It was great to have this doubles challenge as this gave the players a chance to showcase their team skills,” Naidoo explained.

The stage is now set for the biggest event of the year so far, namely the Legends Invitational, where these players will meet as individuals rather than teams. The Legends is a 24-player strictly invitational singles event, where the best of the best will do battle for more than just bragging rights. There are massive ranking points up for grabs, and the winner looks set to top the rankings for at least the next few months.

The Legends Invitational takes place on Thursday 18 May at The Collection Venue, 2021 Boendoe Rd, Garsfontein, from 19:00 – 22:00. It also serves as a curtain raiser for the third Inter-Venue League, or IVL for short, which includes eight teams from Pretoria East, Pretoria Moot and Centurion that will battle it out in home and away matches over the period 23 May to 20 July 2017.

For more information on social and amateur table tennis events in Pretoria, visit www.playtabletennis.co.za or email [email protected].


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Koos Venter
sport journalist

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