Ysa Jimenez emerges as reliable 3rd option for UST vs UE
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas has a couple of offensive constants in Cherry Rondina and Eya Laure but that doesn’t meant that the star duo would always be the team’s focal point.
There have been several players that have risen as the team’s third option in offense especially when Season 80 Rookie of the Year Milena Alessandrini suffered a knee injury four games into the Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
Golden Tigresses such as Dimdim Pacres and Caitlyn Viray who have stepped up to provide offensive lift and UST has found another one willing to take the jump in Ysa Jimenez.
UST easily handled University of the East in straight sets, 25-20, 25-20, 25-16, on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum and it was a game that saw Jimenez show up as a capable third fiddle.
“Every game I’m always there to back the starters up and if ever the team needs me I just think to myself that I have to contribute, if coach (Kung Fu Reyes) gives me a chance then I don’t want to break that trust,” said Jimenez in Filipino.
Jimenez, who usually comes in as a substitute for Pacres in the opposite hitter role, had a career game with 10 points and was instrumental in sparking UST’s run in the third set.
The rookie tied the set at 11 with a block then followed it up with a well-placed attack for UST’s 13-11 lead and it was from there that the other Golden Tigresses started to wrap things up.
Jimenez said it’s important for the other players in the team to support Rondina and Laure especially on the offensive aspect since the two stars shouldn’t always carry UST.
“It’s important for us role players to always be there so that it’s not just Eya and Ate Sisi who’s carrying the load and that they should know that we’re always here,” said Jimenez. “If somebody has to step up we’re always here. It’s not just me because my other teammates should also contribute, especially my co-rookies.”