Civil War rivalry hits the ping-pong table

SAN FRANCISCO – Oregon State’s Roberto Nelson defeated Oregon’s Johnathan Loyd 2-0 (21-13, 23-21) in a best-of-three ping-pong match at Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Media Day Thursday in San Francisco, thus giving the Beavers a leg up in the Civil War rivalry for the 2013-14 season.

“It was a good game,” a tight-lipped Nelson said after the match. “I don’t like to give away all my tricks.” Nelson refused to go on the record with what he did to beat the Duck, fearing he would give away his competitive advantage.

Loyd was dismissive of his loss in the first game, blaming the loss on Nelson being able to get in more reps beforehand. “First game, he kind of spanked me, but he had been practicing for a while,” Loyd said. “I’m not afraid, though.”

]

Perhaps peeved by his defeat at the hands of Nelson, Loyd stuck around on the ping-pong table and dispatched of Arizona State’s Jahii Carson, showing off an impressive backhand that provided a significant amount of spin.

“I have a little tennis background, so that’s why I can play a little bit,” Loyd said.

While the big one got away from Loyd, he believes he would win in a rematch with Nelson. “Off the court, he’s a cool dude,” he said. “On the ping-pong table? No friends; I don’t like him on the ping-pong table at all.”