UAAP: Deja vu for UST but Tigresses eye different outcome

UAAP: Deja vu for UST but Tigresses eye different outcome

/ 07:33 PM May 06, 2024

UST Tigresses coach KungFu Reyes UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball Final Four

UST Tigresses coach KungFu Reyes celebrates during a victory over the La Salle Lady Spikers in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Final Four.–MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — History repeated itself on Sunday when University of Santo Tomas booked a return trip to the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Finals after dethroning La Salle in five sets at Mall of Asia Arena.

Exactly five years ago, the Golden Tigresses–led by Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure and head coach KungFu Reyes–also made the finals at the expense of the Lady Spikers, who were also the defending champions at the time, at the same venue.

UAAP SCHEDULE: Season 86 volleyball Final Four

“Nung pagpasok ko kanina yun agad yung sinabi sa akin May 5 ito din yung moment na nakuha niyo nga yung [last] Finals appearance. Same venue din. Honored kami na ngayon nakuha namin. Yung hardwork ng mga bata ito na yun,” said Reyes after UST eliminated La Salle in the Final Four.

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Despite losing Laure and several key players, Reyes steered an undersized and young team, bannered by super rookie Angge Poyos, sophomore setter Cassie Carballo, and libero captain Detdet Pepito, back to the finals for an opportunity to end a 14-year championship dry spell.

READ: UAAP: UST hopes semblance to 2010 title team leads to championship

UST Tigresses UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament UAAP volleyball

UST Tigresses clinch a ticket to UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Finals after dethroning La Salle. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

It may be déjà vu for Reyes and his Tigresses but the longtime UST coach wants to change the narrative this time by finishing their story with a crown.

“Again, yung 2019 sabi nga history repeats itself pero this time babaguhin namin yung result, pipilitin namin yan. Kaya yung sinasabi na yung hardwork yung tsinatsambahan namin yung mga laro namin, pipilitin ulit namin makatsamba pagkapasok ng Finals,” said Reyes

In 2019, UST came close to winning it all after taking Game 1 of its best-of-three finals against Ateneo but only for the Tigresses to lose the next two games.

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Reyes is confident they can finally get over the hump this time with a talented young crew, which has shown tremendous resiliency throughout the season.

“Wala naman kaming masabi pa sa mga batang ito. Kung bakit kami andito sa harapan niyo, talagang purely hardwork, no drama,” Reyes said. “We will keep the team intact especially dito sa pagpasok namin sa Finals so talagang memorable. Again, babaguhin namin kung ano yung nangyari nung 2019.”

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“Nandito na kami, isasagad na namin, ibubuhos na namin kung ano mga natitirang pa namin. Best [way] namin talagang tinatrabaho lang namin araw-araw lahat ng nakikita niyo sa laro,  more on repetitions. So yung mga tsamba na yan, mga thousand times nilang inuulit yan, talagang pinaghihirapan namin,” added Reyes, whose squad faces the winner between NU and FEU in a best-of-three title series beginning next week.

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TAGS: UAAP Season 86, UST Golden Tigresses

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