UST leans on Angeline Poyos, Regina Jurado to claim Super League bronze
MANILA, Philippines—Angeline Poyos capped her stellar showing in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals with a 26-point explosion as University of Santo Tomas clinched the bronze medal after beating University of Perpetual Help, 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 25-13, in Game 2 on Saturday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
The incoming rookie powered the Tigresses from being a replacement team for the National University Lady Bulldogs, who are representing the Philippine team in the Southeast Asia (SEA) VLeague, to third-placers in the national tournament.
Regina Jurado backed Poyos with 19 points on a 15-of-32 attacking clip to give UST its first podium finish in a major tournament since reaching the finals of the UAAP Season 81 and Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference in 2019.
Xyza Gula also stepped up with 13 points, sparking the team’s 12-2 run in the fourth set to take a 23-12 spread en route to a two-game sweep of the battle for the third series. Setter Cassie Carballo orchestrated the plays, while captain and libero Detdet Pepito protected the floor.
“We’re grateful to finally bring back UST to the podium since we’re a young team, we were able to show what we are capable of,” said Jurado in Filipino after leading the young Tigresses to bronze in the post-Eya Laure era.
UST coach KungFu Reyes focused their offensive plays for the middle blockers in the third set but it didn’t work as NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol, who had 25 points, refused to be swept in the match and forced a fourth frame.
“Our target was to build a connection between our middle blockers and setters because that’s what we’re lacking right now. But it didn’t work because we could not convert, so we went back to our wing spikers in the fourth set,” said Reyes.
Reyes, the longtime UST coach, was pleased with their performance in the National Invitationals as they were supposed to work on their strength and conditioning but suddenly got invited to the tournament, where they won five of their six assignments.
“At least our new faces won a medal for our team after four years. It’s a new chapter for this team. They are very young but they are feisty like chili peppers,” said Reyes as they also moved on from the departure of Imee Hernandez and Milena Alessandrini.
The Tigresses will go back to strength and conditioning and focus on their academics first before preparing for the preseason tournament of the SSL later this year.
Perpetual Help, the lone NCAA team to advance to the Final Four, will see action in the V-League Collegiate Challenge next week.