UAAP: Imee Hernandez’s leadership shines in career night for UST Tigresses
MANILA, Philippines — Imee Hernandez imposed her will in the middle and showed her leadership to the young University of Santo Tomas Tigresses, finishing with a career-high 24 points to send the Ateneo Blue Eagles to the brink of elimination in the UAAP Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.
Hernandez poured in 19 attacks out of 31 attempts and fired three blocks and two aces in their 25-22, 25-20, 27-29, 25-21 win over Ateneo on Saturday at Philsports Arena.
“My mindset was to do my job inside the court and show my maturity as a senior,” said the starting middle blocker in Filipino after conspiring with Eya Laure to boost their Final Four bid.
Despite her career game, the 5-foot-10 Tigress admitted she was overeager defending Faith Nisperos’ attack as the Blue Eagles’ skipper tied her career-high 31 points.
“I was overeager but I needed to compose myself knowing Faith’s [talent],” she said.
UST dropped the third set, where it received a yellow card after contesting a crucial call, and needed to fight back in the fourth with Laure and Hernandez leading the way to close out the match.
“[We believed] that we can and we won’t give up,” Hernandez said.
UST coach KungFu Reyes congratulated Hernandez for scoring her career-high, saying it is “rare for a middle blocker to score 24 points.”
“Imee is willing to listen and adapt. She’s very professional and she knows how to deal with me, following my instructions regardless of my tone,” said Reyes in Filipino. “Her output today was a fruit of her hard work in practice and all her sacrifices.”
“What’s important is she will keep on being consistent and play without any regrets, win or lose, as long as she gives her best shot,” he added.
Amid her best game, Hernandez refused to be satisfied, seeking to surpass their performance as UST, which holds an 8-3 record, plays its last three games in the elimination.
“Of course, I won’t stop. We won’t be satisfied with this. As coach said, every day you have to surpass your previous performance,” she said.
WATCH: Imee Hernandez on staying composed in the late game. #UAAPSeason85 | via Lance Agcaoili/Inquirer Sports
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, April 15, 2023