Regina Jurado emerging as UST Tigresses’ new leader
MANILA, Philippines — University of Santo Tomas coach KungFu Reyes is confident that Regina Jurado and other holdovers can be good leaders to the young Tigresses in the post-Eya Laure era in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament next year.
As the Tigresses started their lives without the back-to-back UAAP top scorer and their star Laure, Jurado showed that she has what it takes to lead the team in UST’s bronze medal finish — its first podium in a major tournament since 2019 — in the Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals.
And Reyes was hardly surprised by the leadership shown by Jurado as well as team captain and libero Detdet Pepito and setter Cassie Carballo
“Since she was 12 years old, we’re already been honing her skills. It’s in her blood to be a leader,” said the Tigresses coach of the UST high school product in Filipino. “They are executing their leadership through the simplest way and they continue to work hard to be good leaders to their teammates.”
“They used to be good followers before so it’s easier for them to lead because they already felt a good leader [in Eya Laure],” he added.
The incoming sophomore Jurado admitted that there is pressure in taking charge after the departure of Laure, Imee Hernandez, and Milena Alessandrini but she is determined to embrace her bigger role in guiding the newcomers led by Angeline Poyos, who shone in the tournament.
“There is pressure but I have to step up inside the court. My rookie season is over and now, I have to be one of the reliable players on my team,” said Jurado in Filipino after scoring 19 points in their bronze-clinching 25-20, 25-21, 17-25, 25-13 win over University of Perpetual Help in Game 2 on Saturday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan City.
Although they made their first podium finish since UST’s silver medal finish in the UAAP Season 81— Laure’s rookie year–Jurado is seeking more improvement from the young Tigresses ahead of their UAAP campaign in 2024.
“We still lack a lot of things but we can still work it out since we have time to prepare for our most important tournament, the UAAP,” she said.
Despite being a late replacement to UAAP runner-up National University, coach Reyes was pleased with their performance in the National Invitationals as they won five of their six assignments.
“Shakey’s tapped us because NU will represent the national team. Supposedly we’re working on our strength and conditioning so we worked double time for this tournament. Good thing the skills are already there and our core from last season is still intact so it wasn’t that hard for us,” the UST coach said. “We’re very happy because the players are sticking to the system even the rookies.”
The UST Tigresses will go back to strength and conditioning and focus on their academics for the upcoming weeks as their next tournament will be SSL’s preseason tournament later this year.
UST coach KungFu Reyes and Regina Jurado after winning the bronze in the #sslnationalinvitationals
Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, August 12, 2023