RIO DE JANEIRO—Ian Lariba bowed out in her first match, losing to Han Xing of Congo, 11-7, 13-11, 11-9, 11-7, on Saturday morning (Saturday night, Manila time) in the table tennis women’s singles of the Olympics.
Lariba had a competitive match against Han but couldn’t pull off a set victory to end her Olympic stint just after carrying the Philippine flag in the parade of nations.
The 325th-ranked Lariba gave Han, who is at the 161st spot in the world rankings, a tough time in the second set, where the La Salle star almost won the game, reaching set point at 10th before eventually falling 11-13.
Lariba, though, held her head after the loss as she considered the early exit a learning experience that will only make her better.
"Sayang. Dikit naman except sa end game. May tension at kaba pa ako but I will bring home this learning experience," Lariba said after the game.
"May moments na pigil ang palo ko. I know na kaya ko pero may kulang pa," she added. "Madami ako natutunan, more on self control and how to overcome this stage. Masaya. I enjoyed nung nasa gitna ako. There's reason behind everything."
Up next for the Philippines is swimmer Jessie Lacuna, who competes in the heats of 400m freestyle early Sunday morning.