Tigresses gore another big fish in Lady Archers to stay unbeaten

Tigresses gore another big fish in Lady Archers to stay unbeaten

By: - Reporter / @junavINQ
/ 04:25 AM February 26, 2024

Margaret Banagua (left,photo above) and Regina Jurado celebrate a critical point. —UAAP PHOTO

UST Tigresses’ Margaret Banagua (left, photo above) and Regina Jurado celebrate a critical point. —UAAP PHOTO

Billed as a classic David versus Goliath matchup and the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses reprised the triumphant role of the great underdog.

“There’s no easy win in this tournament. You have to work hard every match,’’ said Santo Tomas coach Kungfu Reyes following an amazing 25-18, 25-23, 14-25, 16-25, 15-12 escape act over defending champion and heavy favorite La Salle on Sunday night in Season 86 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.


Jonna Perdido and rookie Angeline Poyos were superb on the attack, but it was generally their composure on the floor that stretched the unbeaten run of the Tigresses to three, a streak that counts the finalists last year as victims.


READ: SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

The loss was the first in three games for La Salle, which has been tipped as the overwhelming favorite to repeat.

“I always tell them that we could lose a point and we could lose a set, but never lose character,’’ said Reyes, explaining how the Tigresses kept their wits after blowing a two-set lead.

Flourishing amid the ceaseless chanting of the UST faithful at the packed Mall of Asia Arena, the Tigresses, who conquered last year’s runner-up National University in straight sets, also leaned on Casey Carballo’s quarterbacking and libero Bernadett Pepito on defending the fort.

READ: UAAP volleyball: UST Tigresses counter height with heart in taking down La Salle

“We got lost in the third and fourth sets. We just reminded ourselves about our goal and that we should win games to make it to the Final Four,’’ said Pepito, whose 18 receptions and 12 digs proved instrumental in fending off La Salle’s rally.

Trailing 12-9, the Tigresses suddenly regained composure and overturned their fate as Poyos and Margaret Banagua buckled down to work in the fifth and final set.

Not letting go

UST Tigresses' Jonna Perdido

UST Tigresses’ Jonna Perdido (#18). –UAAP PHOTO

Poyos’ crosscourt hit leveled the count and Carballo delivered an ace before Banague finished off the enemy by dumping it at the back of La Salle’s side of the floor.


“We simply didn’t let go until the fifth set, and this will give us confidence in succeeding matches,’’ said Poyos after delivering 20 attacks out of 22 points in backstopping Perdido’s 24.Perdido compiled seven attacks in the opening set, the last two a crosscourt smash followed by a two-handed push at set point.

Perdido sustained the onslaught in the second set, spearheading their comeback from four points down near the end and again scoring the last two attacks off the block that saw La Salle staring at a possible straight sets defeat.

“We just have to keep a positive mindset and trust ourselves. We should carry this throughout the season,’’ said Perdido.

With the match on the line, Angel Canino came alive and bombarded the Tigresses’ lair with a variety of strikes before Amie Provido’s kill saved the Lady Spikers from a quick downfall in the third frame.

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But the Tigresses reversed all the efforts of the Lady Spikers, who leaned heavily on Canino’s game-high 28 points built on 24 attacks.

TAGS: Sports, UAAP, Volleyball

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