UAAP Volleyball

Finals-bound UST keen to change fate after repeat ouster of La Salle 5 years to the day

JR Isaga

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Finals-bound UST keen to change fate after repeat ouster of La Salle 5 years to the day

CHANGE THE STORY. The UST Golden Tigresses huddle after clinching a UAAP Season 86 women's volleyball finals spot

UAAP Season 86 Media Team

Back in the UAAP women's volleyball finals after another ouster of mighty La Salle, big-hearted UST yearns to change the ill-fated ending of its Season 81 title pursuit

MANILA, Philippines – On May 5, 2019, the UST Golden Tigresses eliminated the La Salle Lady Spikers from the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball Final Four to clinch a finals spot.

Five years later, to the exact day, the newest batch of España stars paid tribute to that momentous occasion in the best way, staging another ouster of the mighty Taft towers in five sets and booked a finals return trip in Season 86.

Widely accepted as the third-best title contender behind La Salle and NU before the season began, the short-statured, yet big-hearted Tigresses continued to prove doubters wrong, starting from a historic 8-0 romp of the elimination round to now being first in line in the two-team war for the gold.

Endlessly grateful for yet another milestone, UST only has one wish left to fulfill: to rewrite the ending of that ill-fated story five years ago, where the Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure-led Tigresses fell to the Kat Tolentino, Maddie Madayag, and the rest of the Ateneo Blue Eagles in a three-game finals series.

“We referenced that 2019 story, where history repeated itself, but we want to change the final result, we will force ourselves to do that,” said Tigresses head coach Kungfu Reyes in Filipino.

“Of course, I have nothing much left to say to these kids. Our drive, our reason why we are here, is pure hard work, with no more drama to entertain. We will keep the team intact especially heading to the finals, so it’s really going to be memorable. Again, we will change what happened in 2019.”

Sure enough, the new-age UST’s hard work was on full display against experienced La Salle, as rookie MVP candidate Angge Poyos continued her exceptional first-year tear with a game-high 28 points.

The likes of Jonna Perdido, Cassie Carballo, and captain Detdet Pepito also chipped in stellar supporting lines in the Tigresses’ dethroning of the Lady Spikers, 25-20, 16-25, 25-20, 19-25, 15-7, in front of a boisterous crowd of over 19,000 at the Mall of Asia Arena.  

“I’m so honored to be the captain ball of this promising team,” said Pepito, who put up her usual defensive numbers of 18 excellent digs and 16 excellent receptions. “I thank all my teammates because they really worked for every point, every day, and every training.”

“I’m really happy. I’m speechless that we got this win today,” Poyos added. “I’m grateful because we all worked hard for this, we all helped one another. We started this season strong and I hope we can end it on a beautiful note as well.”

With the other side of the finals equation still bearing question marks after FEU rolled over twice-to-beat NU with a stunning sweep, UST now has extra time to scout the opposition, further fine-tune its championship-level plays, and most importantly, rest its weary stars for the last battles ahead.

“We’ve always been like that, we’re ready for whoever next we face,” Reyes continued. “With at least two games left, like what I said, we’ll just give it our all, give everything we have left in the tank, and give out more hard work. That’s all it is.”

“What you see in the game, we do that and repeat that every day. No matter how other keep saying we just get lucky, we know we work to have luck on our side.” –

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