Will the queen Tigress step up?
Now it can be told: University of Santo Tomas had been encountering leadership crisis during its rough start in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament this season.
UST coach Kungfu Reyes bared this much last Friday, saying his wards had a different understanding when it comes to leading the team: Instead of one player from its talented bunch stepping up to the plate, everyone was waiting for that leader to rise on her own.
No one among Pam Lastimosa, Cherry Rondina, EJ Laure and Ria Meneses wanted to take the lead, Reyes discovered.
“Contrary to the idea that everybody is fighting for leadership, in our case, nobody wanted to be the leader,” Reyes told the Inquirer. “Nobody wanted to step up.”
Lately, Reyes said, the Tigresses realized “that they need to rally behind every one of them.” But he still needs someone to step up from his leader-by-committee group.
He pointed out the emergence of second-stringer setter Alina Bicar as the linchpin for the Tigresses’ three-game winning streak, saying “she is really stepping up for [starting setter] Alexine Cabanos and for the rest of the team.”
That new-found dynamic will be put to the test Saturday when UST battles University of the East at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
The drama is expected to get its share of the spotlight from Ateneo, which hopes to bolster its league-leading record against skidding University of the Philippines in the main match.
Ateneo closed out its first round on a high, using exciting rallies in each of the first two sets to thwart defending champion and fierce rival La Salle.
The Lady Eagles are suddenly heavy favorites over the Lady Maroons, who lost their footing after a 4-0 start.
The Lady Warriors, who finally nailed a victory after beating Adamson in the first round, will rely on do-it-all spiker Shaya Adorador when it faces the Tigresses, hoping for a victory that pulls them farther out of the bottom.
But whether UE will have enough depth to deal with a streaking UST side remains to be seen.
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