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Practice halted but coach tells Tigresses: Use forced break to ‘do squats’

/ 05:20 AM March 13, 2020

Kungfu Reyes told the University of Santo Tomas women’s volleyball team to “stay fit.”

Those within Metro Manila he told to go home. Those from the provinces he instructed to remain inside team quarters.

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“That way, if a lockdown is implemented, they are readily available,” Reyes told the Inquirer on the heels of the UAAP suspension due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Other teams, I heard, continue practicing,” Reyes said. “But I don’t want to take a risk. Their parents will be very concerned.”

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On Monday, they had a planned tuneup match against a Philippine Superliga team. But that was also the time President Duterte declared suspension of classes for at least a week.

The UAAP followed suit and halted the games up until March 17, “to give everyone concerned enough time to adjust to the current situation.”

It was already the second postponement of the 82nd season, which was previously delayed also due to the virus scare.

“Now everything is at a standstill,” Reyes said. “I told my players to keep in shape. I hope they remember to at least do squats at home.”

UST just came from a stunning victory over Far Eastern U the previous day, and Reyes said the Tigresses were hyped up for the rest of the season.

Last year’s surprise runners-up, the Tigresses managed to bounce back from a five-set defeat to National University during the inaugurals.

And now the season hangs in the balance with NU in the lead with 2-0 record, and La Salle at 1-0. UST, FEU and defending champion Ateneo have similar 1-1 slates.

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The NCAA has a pending decision to scrap its 95th season—right before Final Four starts. Like the UAAP, all NCAA games are postponed indefinitely.

The management committee, led by chair Peter Cayco of Arellano University, has recommended to the NCAA policy board to consider students’ safety and give the next host school more time to prepare for the next season.

Whether UAAP is following suit is not that important.

“I think our opinions about it don’t matter,” he said. “The important thing is to follow what the authorities say, because they know better.”

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TAGS: COVID-19, Kungfu Reyes, Tigresses, UAAP, University of Santo Tomas women’s volleyball
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