Texas Smash defeat Princeton Revolution to win first MLTT Cup

CHICAGO, IL – In front of a raucous crowd at Loyola’s Gentile Arena, the Texas Smash defeated the Princeton Revolution 21-7 in Major League Table Tennis’ signature Golden Game to secure the league’s first championship.

“When we spoke in Wichita, I said anything was possible,” McBeath told MLTT Commentator Evan Lepler in his postgame interview. “I definitely didn’t think this was possible when I said that. But now I’m just over the moon. It’s been a tough season…at one point we were in fourth, we climbed up to second, then back down to third and out of the playoff, and then snuck in with Wichita, and now here we are with the championship trophy.”

Regardless of how the season went, the Smash started strong straight out of the gate in their final clash, with Hiromitsu Kasahara topping Jishan Liang to give Texas an early 3-0 lead. Nandan Naresh continued the momentum in front of his hometown crowd, taking two of three from Koyo Kanamitsu to make it 5-1.

Kasahara and Amy Wang made sure that doubles wouldn’t be a spot for Princeton to turn it around, sweeping Liang and Angela Guan to extend their lead to 8-1.

Princeton’s Mathieu De Saintilan tried to claw back with two wins over Yoan Rebetez, but his Swiss counterpart stood strong in the final game to make it 9-3 heading into the final singles match.

With the Revolution looking for a way back into the game, Jinxin Wang and David McBeath clashed in the best match of the night, with Wang taking the opener for the Revolution before McBeath won the next and closed it out with a 10-10 Golden Point win in the final game to give the Smash an 11-4 lead heading into the Golden Game.

Texas left no doubt in the Golden Game, breezing to a 21-7 victory to make history as the first team to lift the MLTT Cup.

The Smash were the last team to qualify for the playoffs on the final weekend of the regular season in Wichita. But to the team, it was one big step in a journey was leading to this big weekend.

“It was unbelievable the way they were helping each other to grow,” Smash owner Mahesh Joshi said during the trophy presentation. “Everybody was learning from each other. That was the fantastic part of this team.”

Earlier in the day, the Bay Area Blasters topped the Carolina Gold rush to secure third place with a 21-18 Golden Game victory.

The league’s next major event will be the 2024 MLTT Draft, which will take place on May 21, live on the league’s YouTube channel. MLTT will participate in ESPN’s 2024 Ocho Day on Aug. 2, and 2024-25 league play will start in early fall of 2024.