- News in Photo
By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Bring back the old glory.
University of Santo Tomas sets its sights on rekindling the university’s supremacy in the UAAP women’s volleyball after eclipsing its modest goal this season.
UST Coach Kungfu Reyes only aimed at surpassing the team’s sixth-place finish last year, but the Tigresses proved their worth by earning a Final Four berth.
“Na-overachieve namin ang mga sarili namin. Ngayon na nasa Final Four na kami, hindi na kami magse-settle na hanggang dito. Kumbaga, mangangarap na kami nang sobra-sobra,” said Reyes.
The Tigresses advanced in the semifinals after finishing third with a 9-5 win-loss record in the double-round eliminations – surpassing their 5-9 mark at sixth place last season.
But the price at booking a Final Four seat did not come easy for UST, as the Tigresses had to recover from two sets down in order to eliminate the National University Lady Bulldogs in their last elims match.
For Reyes, that match showed the potential of his stalwarts for the more crucial rounds.
“Yun talaga yung indication an Final Four material na yung mga bata: na mabubuhay na sila sa pakikipaglaban hanggang sa dulo,” said Reyes.
Reyes expects war in the next phase, especially against their Final Four rival, defending champion La Salle, which they needed to beat twice in order to clinch their first championship appearance since 2010.
UST lost twice over La Salle in the elims – a four-setter in the first round and a straight-set beating in the second – but Reyes believes his stalwarts changed a lot over the course of the season.
For one, the Tigresses are not intimidated that it was the first time in three years that they will be competing in the Final Four scene.
With the university being the second winningest women’s team in the league with 15 titles, the Tigresses will do anything to reclaim the old throne.
“Pukpukan na to. Dumatin na yung goal namin, mangangarap na kami nang todo-todo,” said skipper Cherry Rondina.
“Ine-expect na namin na dikdikan. Ito na yung tinatawag na kasama na yung laro kalye. Kumbaga kung bugbugan, eh di bugbugan. Yun na yung nagiging attitude ng mga bata. Ilalaban talaga nila yan hanggang sa dulo,” Reyes said.