UST TIGRESSES: Making the cut

Mark Escarlote on Sep 30, 2016 05:24 PM
UST TIGRESSES: Making the cut
CHERRY BOMB: Cherry Rondina is one of the players to watch in University of Sto. Tomas' campaign in the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference.

Players of the University of Sto. Tomas will be playing with added motivation when the Golden Tigresses begin their campaign in the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference.

The Espana-based squad will use the tournament as a gauge to determine which among their players will make the cut for the 79th UAAP volleyball tournament next year.

With their players pumped up to show their A-game every match, assistant coach Ian Fernandez said that they are hitting two birds with one stone: a chance for their wards to prove themselves and an inspiration for the team to win.    

“‘Yung sa team kasi namin kailangan namin ng more on games talaga eh. Pero yung sa sinasabi ko hindi kami pumasok dito para lang sa experience sa game or kung anuman, siyempre ang aim din namin dito ay siyempre manalo,” said Fernandez during the press launch of the conference Friday at the 9501 Restaurant in ABS-CBN. “And ‘yun nga para maka-gain ng experience.”

UST will play all-Filipino. 

“’Yung lineup namin is more on sa UAAP na ‘yun eh. Pipili kami rito kung sino yung mga pupuwedeng mag-fit in sa 14-man lineup sa UAAP at kung sino ang ibaba rin,” explained Fernandez, who serves as lieutenant of head coach Kungfu Reyes.

The Tigresses will parade a full strength lineup with the return of Pam Lastimosa after almost a year of absence when she suffered a left ACL injury that ruled her out of UAAP Season 78.    

“Actually na miss namin kay Pam ‘yung leadership niya eh. Noong nawala si Pam hindi ko naman sa sinasabi na walang leadership yung pumalit sa kanya na si EJ (Laure) pero siyempre mas beterano si Pam eh,” said Fernandez. “Alam naman natin lahat ‘yun eh. Pero ngayon mas alam na niya ang sakit ng team kasi naging captain ball na siya dati so ngayon medyo kontrolado na niya ang mga players and ‘yung team alam na niya kung paano paandarin,” he added.

Helping Lastimosa are the veteran trio of explosive hitters Cherry Rondina, Laure and Ria Meneses.

The three players will also give priority with UST this time in case of a conflict of schedule with their teams playing in another league. 

“Ang napag-usapan kasi ng athletics office na rin and ng mga coaches na if there is conflict sa schedule dito sila sa mother team (maglalaro) kasi in preparation na rin sa UAAP and sa UniGames na rin,” the assistant coach said.

Rica Rivera, Renalyn Hachero, Chlodia Cortez, Caitlin Viray, Carla Sandoval, Alina Bicar, Mary Dominique Pacres, Alexin Cabanos, Patricia Rasmos, Christine Francisco and Shannen Palec round up UST’s roster. 

The Tigresses are coming off a disappointing stint in the Collegiate Conference after missing out in the semifinals race for the first time.

“’Yung sa last conference talaga aminado naman kami na wala kaming mga players na pupwedeng ipasok,” said Fernandez. “’Yung mga ipanasok namin which is more on Team B dun naman kami ngayon kumuha ng pang-fill in dito sa Reinforced Conference.”

“’Yung mga players naman namin dito sa Reinforced masasabi natin na mas angat kaysa sa Collegiate Conference lineup,” he added. “In short ‘yung mga nag-perform sa last conference yun naman ang mga ipinasok namin ngayon.”

The Tigresses will open their campaign against Philippine Air Force on Saturday.





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