Tigresses, Lady Falcons square off for opening win
Mark Escarlote on Feb 02, 2016 05:16 PM
EJ Laure leads University of Sto. Tomas' charge against Jessica Galanza and Adamson University.
University of Sto. Tomas’ new system and the leadership of young skipper EJ Laure will be put under the microscope on Wednesday as the Golden Tigresses test their mettle against an equally hungry Adamson Lady Falcons in their 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament debut at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.
At stake in the 2:00 p.m. joust is a morale-boosting opening day win to join early victors defending three-time Ateneo de Manila and University of the Philippines.
The match will air live over ABS-CBN Sports+Action Channel 23, ABS-CBN Sports+Action HD Channel 166 and via livestream at sports.abs-cbn.com/livestream/uaap.
UST will shoot for a Final Four return without last year’s team captain Pam Lastimosa, who was forced to sit out the tournament because of a knee injury.
Last season’s Rookie of the Year Laure will lead the Espana-based squad as skipper with holdovers Mela Tunay, Jessey De Leon, Ria Meneses, Chlodia Cortez and Cherry Rondina while freshman Alyssa Teope, a UST high school standout, is out to earn her stripes for the Tigresses now under coach Kung Fu Reyes, who replaced Odjie Mamon who is now on a full-time job for the men’s team.
Meneses and Laure saw action for the national team in the Asian U-23 tilt held in Manila last year.
UST missed the Final Four cut for three straight years.
Hoping to recover from a seventh place finish, the Lady Falcons will bank on veterans Mylene Paat, Jessica Galanza, Erika Alkuino, Keith Lebumfacil, Jelli Tempiatura and Joy Dacoron.
Adamson trained and played against teams in Thailand last month.
The Falcons are playing without Amanda Villanueva, who opted to forego her last year of eligibility, and Marlene Cortel.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles