UAAP Volleyball

Juggling act: UST Tigresses survive prelims week, complete UAAP 1st-round sweep

Delfin Dioquino

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Juggling act: UST Tigresses survive prelims week, complete UAAP 1st-round sweep

LEADING SCORER. Angge Poyos in action for the UST Golden Tigresses in the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament.


The UST Golden Tigresses notch their best start in the Final Four era as they sweep the first round of the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament

MANILA, Philippines – The UST Golden Tigresses needed to overcome not just the Adamson Lady Falcons on their way to a splendid 7-0 sweep in the first round of the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament.

Also surviving a grueling academic week of preliminary exams, the Tigresses notched their best start in the Final Four era as they nailed a 25-18, 22-25, 25-15, 28-26 win over the Lady Falcons at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, March 16.

“We were worried that the girls would not be able to perform because of sleepless nights left and right,” said UST head coach Kungfu Reyes in a mix of Filipino and English.

“But they banked on our system, which thrives on team effort, collective effort.”

The exhaustion from the balancing act of juggling sports and academics, plus the lack of sufficient rest, appeared to take their toll on the Tigresses as they struggled to put away an Adamson side that has won just two games.

A deciding fifth set seemed imminent when the Lady Falcons grabbed a 26-25 in the fourth frame.

UST, though, lived up to its billing as the only undefeated team in the league as it turned to super rookie Angge Poyos for the finishing touches.

Poyos, who churned out a game-high 18 points, fired three straight attacks to seal the win and the Tigresses’ first opening-round sweep since they went 6-0 in Season 69.

Jonna Perdido churned out 16 points (14 attacks and 2 blocks), while Regina Jurado chimed in 12 points as they delivered with the help of Cassie Carballo, who dished 22 excellent sets on top 5 points, including 2 blocks.

“We faced challenges these past few days because of the prelims. We were not able to get enough rest since most of us stayed up late to study and finish schoolworks,” said Carballo.

“But that is not a reason to take it easy in training because we can lose everything we’ve accomplished anytime.”

Setting its perfect run aside, UST still aims to raise its game to another level, knowing opposing teams are determined to tarnish its unblemished record.

Defending champion La Salle Lady Spikers (6-1) certainly want payback as their only loss of the season came at the hands of the Tigresses, while the NU Lady Bulldogs (5-2) also eye redemption.

“We cannot be complacent since a lot of teams are hungry to get back at us. We need to double or triple the effort that we put in training,” said UST libero Bernadett Pepito.

Ishie Lalongisip tallied 14 points to pace Adamson, which absorbed its third straight defeat and fell to 2-5 to end the first round. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.