UAAP: All-heart UST Tigresses still proud of silver finish

UAAP: All-heart UST Tigresses still proud of silver finish

/ 07:55 PM May 16, 2024

UST Tigresses after losing the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball Final series to NU Lady Bulldogs.

UST Tigresses after losing the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball Final series to NU Lady Bulldogs. –MARLO CUETO/

MANILA, Philippines — They may have fallen short in getting a different ending, but the University of Santo Tomas Tigresses remained proud of their finish in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

It was the same result for coach KungFu Reyes in his second UAAP women’s volleyball Finals in five years, but he encouraged his undersized but still hardfighting Tigresses–fondly dubbed as Mini Miss UST–to keep their heads up after their unexpected Season 86 Finals run.

“We fought until the end, but it just wasn’t enough. We have a lot of takeaways this time. We wanted to rewrite history, but we couldn’t do it, ” said Reyes in Filipino after losing to NU in Game 2, 25-23, 23-25, 27-25, 25-18, on Wednesday at Mall of Asia Arena.


READ: UAAP: NU Lady Bulldogs sweep UST Tigresses to regain volleyball crown

Reyes commended every member of his team after UST, which didn’t have the tallest players in the league, still pulled off the biggest surprise of the season.

“I’m proud of our players, especially Xyza [Gula] for stepping up in the absence of [Angge] Poyos, who still played despite her injury. We’re proud of Detdet [Pepito’s] leadership for helping the team reach this far and our best setter Cassie [Carballo], who made our players look tall through her plays that led to successful kills.”

All heart

UST Tigresses' Detdet Pepito in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament Finals

UST Tigresses’ Detdet Pepito in the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament Finals. –MARLO CUETO/

Pepito, who has the heart and soul of the Tigresses, said the team is using the heartbreak from this Finals series to fuel their run for next season.


“We’re still lacking, but we’re almost there. Coach told us to make sure that we don’t feel the same way next season. We’re proud of each and every one of us, especially our teammates who are small but are all heart,” said the two-time UAAP Best Libero.

“We went into this as a whole, we ended it as a whole. Poyos was able to play, so we’re happy she could.”


Carballo, who emerged as the Best Setter for UST, credited the Tigresses’ Finals run despite having a young core to the leadership of Pepito.

READ: UAAP: Tiny but mighty Detdet Pepito captures hearts of UST community

“We’re grateful for this experience even though we’re a young team. We really fought with our heart, but we just fell short in the end. Next year we will work hard to make sure this won’t happen to us again,” said the sophomore setter, who was emotional after the game.

“And I also want to say my appreciation to Detdet, because we always felt her presence even though she’s in a non-scoring position. ”

Reyes, meanwhile,  said that his young Tigresses will learn a lot from this setback, hoping to finish their story with a championship next season.

Good thing for the team, there are no graduating players from this roster.

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“We got a lot of lessons here. Regardless of whether you’re a tall or small team, what’s important is your heart, how decisive you are, how determined, and that’s where you’ll get results,” said the UST coach.

TAGS: UAAP Season 86, UST Tigresses

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