Latin America

Minus Milena, UST still ‘war-ready’

Beatrice Go
Despite missing Fil-Italian spiker Milena Alessandrini, the UST Tigresses prove they're ready for any big challenge

BIG WIN. The UST Golden Tigresses vow to be ready against any opponent, and they show just that against defending champion La Salle. Photo by Michael Gatpandan/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses proved that a shorthanded team can take home a big win. 

At the start of the week, UST team captain Sisi Rondina challenged her younger teammates to step up and follow her “war-ready” ways, especially now that the Tigresses lost to injury Fil-Italian spiker Milena Alessandrini.

Kung pupunta ka ng digmaan, dapat mindset natin na manalo kayo, kailangan kundisyon,” shared the fiery Rondina. “And, lagi kong nire-remind yung mga bata na kasi… the way akong maglaro, intense eh, medyo natatakot sila.”

(If we’re going to war, we should have a mindset that we’re going to win and we should be well conditioned. I always remind the rookies that they should play with intensity, just like the way I play, because they sometimes get scared.) 

The Tigresses responded to Rondina’s challenge and the underdogs pulled off an upset straight-set drubbing of reigning champion La Salle in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament on Wednesday, March 6.

Even if Rondina and super rookie Eya Laure continued to lead UST in scoring, Dimdim Pacres and setter Marie Fe Galanza stepped up to the challenge. 

Pacres broke her slump to tally 8 points and 13 digs, while the rookie Galanza dished out 21 excellent sets and scored an ace. 

Head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes was definitely impressed with the team’s performance, especially with the fact that the Tigresses responded to his call to limit their errors. 

UST committed 5 errors less than La Salle’s 23 unforced errors. 

So yung mental baggage namin, yung mga doubt na iniisip nila, after kasi ng [talo namin sa FEU], may ganoon kami. May distraction talaga,” said Reyes. “Pero again, nawala si Milena, pero we have 13 strong women na haharap sa kung sino man ang magiging kalaban namin.”

(There was mental baggage and doubt after our loss to FEU. It was really a distraction. Then Milena got injured, but we still have 13 strong women who can go up against any of our next opponents.) 

With the Tigresses now extra fired up, they hope to sustain the winning high and translate it to a positive run for the rest of the season.

Tratrabaho kami na laging ‘yung goal namin na dapat naka-set, dapat nasa mindset na, and ‘yung mga trabaho namin na wag makalimutan,” said Rondina. 

(We’re going to continue working towards the goal we set. This will be our mindset and we won’t forget our responsibilities.)  –


Beatrice Go

More commonly known as Bee, Beatrice Go is a multimedia sports reporter for Rappler, who covers Philippine sports governance, national teams, football, and the UAAP. Stay tuned for her news and features on Philippine sports and videos like the Rappler Athlete’s Corner and Rappler Sports Timeout.