Nothing to be ashamed off -- UST coach Kungfu Reyes
Mark Escarlote on Nov 07, 2016 10:21 PM
Cherry Rondina of University of Sto. Tomas showed grit even against the veterans of Pocari Sweat.
University of Sto. Tomas may have lost the battle for the finals berth in the 13th V-League Reinforced Conference but the Tigresses surely gained valuable experience heading into the 79th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament early next year.
The Tigresses were swept by the more experienced and seasoned crew of Pacari Sweat Lady Warriors Monday in the best-of-three semifinals and were relegated to the battle for third.
The Espana-based squad put up a gallant stand before eventually bowing down to the reigning Open Conference champion, 17-25, 26-24, 24-26, 27-25, 8-15.
“’Yun naman ang hinihintay namin e. Masaya kami na malungkot. Malungkot kasi hindi kami nanalo. Masaya na in a sense may lumalabas eh.‘Yun naman ang hinahanap namin,” said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.
UST gave the Lady Warriors, backstopped by Americans Bre Mackie and Andrea Kacsits, quite a scare the whole game.
The Tigresses in the second set overhauled a 17-23 deficit on its way to stealing the frame. In the fourth set UST saved two match points a before EJ Laure hit a service ace to put the Tigresses at set point advantage, 26-25. Chloe Cortez closed the frame with a joust winner.
UST even started the deciding set, 2-0, before eventually fizzling out against the more composed Pocari Sweat.
“From the very beginning naman bonus na nga lang na nasa semifinals kami,” added Reyes, whose wards collected four straight wins to start the season-ending conference. “Magiging special na sana kung lumusot pa kami, na at least maka-extend kami ng rubber match.”
Reyes commended his players for showing grit.
“We had a good run for this Reinforced Conference,” the mentor said. “Sabi ko nga we fought a good fight sa kanila (Pocari). Nothing to be ashamed off and worth the gain ang naging resulta ng laro namin.”
Even Pocari Sweat coach Rommel Abella and Lady Warriors skipper Michele Gumabao see UST as a team-to—beat in the next UAAP season.
“Kung ‘yan ang magiging lineup nila (ready na sila for UAAP). Kasi ‘di natin alam kung ‘yan ang official lineup nila going into the UAAP, if that’s gonna be their lineup, I guess they’re more than ready for the UAAP wars and coming from UST, I hope they are ready,” said Abella, who himself played for the UST Tigers together with Reyes not so long ago.
Gumabao, who also works as Adamson’s assistant coach, said that the Tigresses just need to maintain their game to be successful in the UAAP.
“Maganda galaw ng UST pero kasi a team lalo na kapag batang team like them, lagi silang nakikisabay sa galaw ng kalaban nila. So it’s good na ngayon nakakasabay sila sa level ng nilalaro ng professional teams sana ma-maintain nila ang galaw nila come collegiate kasi once na bumagal ang pace, once na nag-iba ang pace ng kalaban nila sumasabay din kasi talaga sila,” said Gumabao, who won three titles with De La Salle. “So ‘yun ‘yung sakit ng batang team naka-pattern sila sa kalaban. So siguro for me competitive sila, they won the UniGames that means they’re one step ahead of everybody else.”
UST will play the semis loser between BaliPure and Bureau of Customs, who are still playing as of posting time, in the best-of-three battle for third.
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