UAAP Volleyball

Eyes on bigger prize: UST seeking to go all the way after elimination sweep of La Salle

Delfin Dioquino

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Eyes on bigger prize: UST seeking to go all the way after elimination sweep of La Salle

CELEBRATE. The UST Golden Tigresses in action during the UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball tournament.


Winning the championship is now the goal for the UST Golden Tigresses as they enter the Final Four with a rousing four-set win over defending champion La Salle Lady Spikers

MANILA, Philippines – Parading a roster composed mostly of rookies and sophomores, the UST Golden Tigresses entered the UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament with modest expectations.

But now that the Tigresses are in the Final Four and armed with a twice-to-beat armor, they cannot help but dream big.

Winning the championship is now the goal for UST as it ended the elimination round with a rousing 22-25, 25-23, 25-16, 25-15 win over defending champion La Salle Lady Spikers at the Araneta Coliseum on Saturday, April 27.

The victory allowed the Tigresses to improve to 12-2 and secure the second seed that merits a win-once bonus in the semifinals, where they will face the Lady Spikers anew.

“I can say that this is the best chance to bring back the crown to UST,” said libero and team captain Detdet Pepito in Filipino.

The Tigresses last won the title in Season 72 in 2010, falling short twice of the grand prize in Season 73 in 2011 and Season 81 in 2019.

But this UST crew has shown it is ready and hungry to end that 14-year championship drought as it completed an elimination-round sweep of La Salle, which settled for third place in the standings with an 11-3 card.

In fact, the Tigresses finished with the same record as top seed NU Lady Bulldogs but fell short of the No. 1 spot due to inferior points.

“We are on the same page from top to bottom,” said UST head coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes. “We have no expectations, but we’re already here, so we want to go all the way.”

“That is the big picture we’re looking at.”

Angge Poyos showed the way for the Tigresses with 22 points in another stellar performance that earned her “MVP” chants from the loud UST crowd.

Jonna Perdido chimed in 19 points, while Regina Jurado supplied 13 points as she sparked the win-clinching 16-5 run the Tigresses rode in the fourth set.

Shevana Laput carried the scoring load for the Lady Spikers with 26 points despite the return of reigning MVP Angel Canino, who missed five straight games after sustaining a right arm injury.

Canino fired 7 points in their opening-set victory but got limited to just 6 points the rest of the way as she ended up with 13 points.

No other La Salle player scored in double figures.

The Final Four kicks off on Saturday, May 4, at the Araneta Coliseum, with the Lady Bulldogs hoping to quickly dispose of fourth seed FEU Lady Tamaraws. –

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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.