MANILA, Philippines – The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses vow to show no let-up when they gun for the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The Golden Tigresses seized Game 1 of the best-of-3 series in emphatic fashion, sweeping Ateneo de Manila University 25-17, 25-16, 25-20.
It was their first win over the Lady Eagles since Season 74, and put them on the brink of their first UAAP women’s volleyball crown since Season 72.
For UST head coach Kungfu Reyes, the celebration lasted all of one day.
“Mag-celebrate kami ngayong araw na ‘to, celebrate dahil nanalo,” Reyes said following their massive win on Saturday.
But they went back to work immediately, as Reyes stressed that they had plenty to improve on before Wednesday’s Game 2.
“Parang walang nangyari,” he said of their mindset.
“Balik kami doon sa polishing the floor na ginagawa namin. Hangga’t hindi kami tapos sa liga natin, ‘di kami titigil. Diretso pa rin,” Reyes added.
“Kung ano nasimulan namin na programa, itutuloy lang namin hangga’t kaya naming pagandahin pa yung galaw namin, ma-lessen pa namin ang mga error namin, para matapos namin ang laban ng Wednesday,” he stressed.
Eya Laure, who is set to receive the Rookie of the Year award before Game 2, said she was quick to remind her teammates not to be complacent after their win.
“For me, sabi ko po kina Ate Sisi (Rondina) nung nanalo agad kami, nag-huddle kami sa gitna, sabi ko wala lang magiging kampante,” said the rookie, who scored 11 points in their Game 1 win.
“May isang laro pa, hindi pa tapos ang laban,” Laure said.
A big crowd is expected to show up at the MOA Arena to watch the game, and the Tigresses will have their community and their fans in mind when they compete.
Rondina, in particular, is hoping that they can fulfill the promise she has made to the UST community in her final season with the team.
“Bumitaw na po ako ng salita, pinaka-una pa lang,” said Rondina, who was unstoppable in Game 1 and torched Ateneo for 23 points.
“Gagawin ko po lahat, mabalik lang po namin ‘yung UST and ‘yung korona sa Espana,” she said.
“Papanindigan na namin ito,” vowed Rondina. “Sabi ko nga sa mga bata – walang aayaw, walang mawawala sa atin.”
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