Current Tigresses shine against Alumni stars
Mark Escarlote on Feb 06, 2019 10:14 PM
Former and current University of Sto. Tomas stars gathered for an exhibition match Wednesday.
Former and current University of Sto. Tomas stars gathered for a night of fun volleyball action Wednesday at the Quadricentennial Pavilion inside the UST campus.
The alumni squad led by Ging Balse and Aiza Maizo showed that they still got game but the current Tigresses prevailed in straight sets, 25-20, 25-22, 25-17, in the event that also served as a mini pep rally for the UST squad heading into the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
Sophomore Milena Alessandrini unleashed 16 points to pace the Tigresses, who are wrapping up their preparation for the UAAP wars, which will open on February 16. Dimdim Pacres and rookie Eya Laure delivered seven points each while freshman Kecelyn Galdones posted six markers anchored on four aces.
“Ang sarap sa pakiramdam, para akong naglalaro sa championship na makalaro mo ang mga legends ng UST. Hindi ko in-expect na ganoon ang feeling,” said graduating UST team captain Sisi Rondina, who fired six points.
“Nakita namin na kahit hindi na sila ganoon ka-active sa paglaro ng volleyball nandoon pa rin ang passion nila and the way sila mag-commit sa UST, yung willingness to win, gustong-gusto nila and nagi-enjoy sila,” Rondina added. “I hope makuha namin yun. Kung ano ang ginawa nila (sa UST) sana ma-absorb namin.
Balse, who along with Venus Bernal starred in UST’s Season 69 title, showed the way for the Alumni Team with nine points while Pam Lastimosa and Jessey De Leon scored five each.
Looking at the Tigresses current roster, Balse felt confident that the squad has a good chance of ending a nine-year title drought.
“Sa tingin ko talaga kaya nila mag-champion ngayon,” she said. “Kailangan lang nila ng kompiyansa and kailangan nilang harapin ang darating na challenge. Mayroon silang talent para manalo.”
Legendary and multi-titled coach August Sta. Maria was the designated mentor of the Alumni Team with former players Mozzy Ravena and Vilet Ponce De Leon as his deputies.
UST’s Season 72 championship core Angge Tabaquero, Aiza Maizo, Rhea Dimaculangan, Maru Banaticla and Maika Ortiz also played for the Alumni Team with Denise Tan, Joey Torrijos, Rubie De Leon, Dancel Dusaran, Mela Tunay, Michelle Del Rosario, Kat Caranngan, Sarah Jane Gonzalez, Shannen Palec and Mia Hirotsuji.
Former UST high school star Alyssa Valdez and EJ Laure, who skipped the UAAP tournament for the second straight season, watched the event.
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