Tigresses, Lady Tams enhance semifinal chances
University of Santo Tomas, led by its “dynamic duo” and a new ally, proved too much for University of the East as the Tigresses pulled out a 25-20, 25-20, 25-16 win on Saturday to better their Final Four chances in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at FilOil Flying V Centre.
Coach Kungfu Reyes has named reliable scorers Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure as his “Batman and Robin,” who got a lot of help from rookie Ysa Jimenez coming off the bench for that extra boost that helped put the Lady Warriors away and give Santo Tomas its seventh win in 11 games.
Far Eastern also rose to 7-4 and kept the Tigresses company in third spot after nipping University of the Philippines, 25-21, 19-25, 25-23, 25-22, in the first game.
“These two on my left, it’s automatic, they’re my Batman and Robin,” said Reyes as Rondina and Laure sat on his left side during the winning coach’s interview. “But hopefully, I get a player on my right side every game. Because every time I have a player on my right side we win.”
Laure finished with 14 points and Rondina 11 as the Tigresses also ended the Lady Warriors’ hopes of making the semifinals at 2-9.
Jimenez was that player by Reyes’ right, and she got that privilege after scoring a career-high 10 points and plugging the hole left by the off-form Dimdim Pacres.
“We are on the right track. Luckily we have a new player stepping up,” added Reyes.
“I’m happy that I was able to contribute to my team, I will also be ready to every time the team needs me,” added Jimenez.
Idle Ateneo has a 9-1 slate and La Salle, at 7-3, are the only teams with better records than the Tigresses and the Lady Tamaraws.
“This was a very important game for us so I tried my best out there,” said FEU’s Heather Guino-o who topscored with 22 points.
FEU coach George Pascua said the Lady Tamaraws are still at only “70 percent” and can still improve as the season goes on. They scored 16 points off service aces.
Judith Abil was the lone player for UE to score in double-digits with 11 points. The Lady Warriors had fewer errors (23-27) but were simply outgunned by the Tigress (38-25).
Rookie setter MaFe Galanza opened the firing lanes wide for UST’s gunners with 26 excellent sets.
“That’s the beauty of it, I have a strong 13-women lineup who can fill-up roles,” said Reyes, who continued to miss the services of injured top spiker Milena Alessandrini.
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