Em Banagua committed to help UST in UAAP finals despite injury

Em Banagua committed to help UST in UAAP Finals despite injury

/ 02:23 PM May 08, 2024

UST Tigresses' Em Banagua during a UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament volleyball game

UST Tigresses’ Em Banagua during a UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament volleyball game. –MARLO CUETO/INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Despite her knee injury, Em Banagua vows to give her all in the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses’ return to the UAAP women’s volleyball Finals.

Banagua hurt her left knee in the first set after a bad landing on her attempt to save the ball, but that didn’t stop her from helping the twice-to-beat UST book a trip to the Season 86 Finals after dethroning La Salle in five sets, 25-20, 16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-7, on Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.

The rookie middle blocker shrugged off her injury, which sidelined her in a couple of second-round games, through ice and pain relievers, coupled that with her determination to contribute for the Tigresses.


READ: UAAP: Inspired by doubters, UST Tigresses end finals drought

“My mindset is my coaches trusted for putting me on the lineup this season so I have to fight for my team. I will keep on fighting no matter what,” Banagua told Inquirer Sports in Filipino

Banagua scored eight points including a team-high four blocks — three coming from the fifth set–to end a five-year UAAP Finals drought.

“It’s overwhelming to reach the finals in my rookie year. Lord gave it to me this early so we will fight,” she said.


READ: UAAP: Poyos close to completing her promise as UST nears title

“We reached this far through all our sacrifices. We sacrificed a lot, that’s one of my motivations in the finals, we will give our all.”


Aside from super rookie Angge Poyos, UST coach KungFu Reyes lauded Banagua for showing maturity beyond years, proving to be one of the keys in their unexpected run this year.

“When I played in UST high school, I came from the province and suddenly went to Manila. That’s one of the things that pressured me while playing in high school. I felt relieved in college because Angge is her and all of our teammates make us calm,” she said.

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UST battles the winner of the NU-FEU Final Four game in the best-of-three championship series starting on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.

TAGS: UAAP Season 86, UST Golden Tigresses

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