Tigresses not about to give Lady Warriors any quarters
Getting a wake-up call in the middle of the first round of eliminations, University of Santo Tomas coach Kungfu Reyes knows exactly what his Golden Tigresses need not do from here on.
“All teams are competitive. Some just couldn’t close out a game with a win,” Reyes said when asked of what the mindset is coming into their final first round assignment that will be against the winless University of the East (UE) in Season 85 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. “You cannot fool around with UE.”
A game after taking down defending champion National University (NU) and inflicting the first loss on the Lady Bulldogs since 2020, the Tigresses stumbled and needed to pick themselves up in their last two games to keep the leaders within sight.
“We want to finish the first round on a high note. At least, the morale of the team will be high at the start of the second round,’’ said Reyes, whose wards tangle with the Lady Warriors in the 11 a.m. game at FilOil EcoOil Center in San Juan where the Lady Bulldogs take the floor next at 3 p.m. against Far Eastern.
NU winds up against La Salle on Wednesday, while the unbeaten La Salle Lady Spikers will collide with Adamson Sunday before that blockbuster clash with the Lady Bulldogs at Mall of Asia Arena.
Rookie Regina Jurado has stepped up of late to give Reyes a third offensive option after Eya Laure and Melina Alessandrini with another rookie in setter Cassie Carballo calling the plays perfectly well for Santo Tomas in the last two games.
“With Reg, we can just take care of our defense while she makes those attacks,’’ said Laure in praise of Jurado, who scored a game-high 15 points built on 12 attacks in a 25-19, 25-23, 25-14 conquest of the slumping Ateneo Lady Blue Eagles last Wednesday.
“There are learnings along the way as the season progresses. I’ll do my best to sustain these expectations,’’ said Jurado.
The Tigresses went up against the veritable meat of the field early in the first round, their losses coming at the hands of the Lady Spikers and the Lady Falcons.
But their season has so far been highlighted by that 20-game NU streak being snapped, and Laure said that they continue to learn more from their mistakes.
“We always look at things that we’ve learned from those losses and should have the proper mindset every game. These are the steps that we’ve been taking to keep us focused on our goal,’’ said Laure.
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