UST focused on getting better amid hot start

Channeling Kobe, UST focused on getting better amid hot start

UST standouts (from left) Cassie Carballo, Bianca Plaza and Regina Jurado celebrate a point against Ateneo

UST standouts (from left) Cassie Carballo, Bianca Plaza and Regina Jurado celebrate a point against Ateneo in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. The Tigresses are hoping to have the same mindset as the famous name behind their shoes. —UAAP MEDIA

The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Tigresses don’t have to look far to remind them of what it takes to be great.

They just have to look down, at their feet—where the shoe fits.


After all, even with a hot start that has them leading the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament, there’s really no reason to celebrate.


READ: UAAP: UST Tigresses channel ‘Mamba Mentality’ in latest win

“It’s a long tournament and we’re only in the first round,’’ said Angeline Poyos after the unbeaten Tigresses roared to their fifth straight victory at Ateneo’s expense, 25-19, 25-16, 25-19, on Saturday.

And they’re not even through that phase yet. UST still needs to face dangerous Adamson and University of the Philippines to cap its first-round schedule and even a win over both squads won’t assure the Tigresses of anything in a league where things can drastically change in a second round.

“We have to be consistent in what we do, focus on the task and avoid getting comfortable,’’ said Poyos, who lit the stats sheet with a career high 26 points on 21 attacks, three aces and two blocks.

SCHEDULE: UAAP Season 86 volleyball first round

Poyos and setter Cassie Carballo, who lobbed 18 excellent sets to her spikers in another solid playmaking display, said UST is approaching the season with a bit of “Mamba Mentality,” the winning philosophy crafted by the late basketball great Kobe Bryant.


The Tigresses came into the game wearing custom Kobe 8s (ProTro “Halo”) donated by a supporter who chose to remain anonymous. Freelance artist Chachi Victorino splashed the triple white colorway with a dash of yellow around the patented swoosh, overlaying it with a tiger silhouette and a claw mark. On the other side of the shoe was the player’s jersey number.

Best start

UST Tigresses kobe shoes UAAP volleyball

A close look at a pair of custom Kobe 8 sneakers worn by every UST player against Ateneo in the UAAP season 86 women’s volleyball tournament on Saturday.–UAAP PHOTO

“The mindset isn’t about seeking a result—it’s more about the process of getting to that result,” Bryant wrote in a book about Mamba Mentality. “It’s about the journey and the approach. It’s a way of life. I do think that it’s important, in all endeavors, to have that mentality.”

The Tigresses certainly think so.

“We need that mentality to win games,” Carballo told the Inquirer. “That has been one of the factors that keeps us motivated.”

“I think [we have that mentality] because we wear the shoes and all of us, in every game, we fight for every point,” Poyos said.

The Tigresses are off to their best start since winning six straight games to open their title defense in the 2010-11 season. But they understand that winning all their preliminary games isn’t the goal.

“Our mindset that we still have much more to prove has been helping us,” said sophomore spiker Regina Jurado, who also feasted on Carballo’s sets by scoring on 12 attacks.

“There are more games to come. Our aim is to be in the finals.”

Bernadett Pepito helped shut down Ateneo’s offense with 13 digs and nine receptions.

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Lyann de Guzman managed to score 11 kills for the Blue Eagles, but that wasn’t enough to save Ateneo from falling into its fourth loss on five games.

TAGS: Ateneo, UAAP women’s volleyball, UST

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