COMING off an energy-sapping five-set conquest of La Salle, University of Santo Tomas hopes to muster what’s left on its tank as it plays National University today in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The remaining unbeaten team in the season at 4-0, the Lady Bulldogs cannot afford to be complacent when they face the Tigresses at 12 noon.
When the chips are down, UST will live and die on Eya Laure.
The 23-year old Laure matched her tournament-best 28 points as the Tigressses outlasted the Lady Spikers, 26-24, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-12, in another chapter of their fabled women’s volleyball rivalry Thursday night.
In a virtouso performance that coach Ramil de Jesus had to mince words in a fifth set La Salle timeout, “Ginagago lang tayo ni Eya eh”, Laure produced MVP-worthy numbers of 23 attacks, three service aces and two blocks to go along with 20 digs and 19 receptions.
It was Laure who presided UST’s dramatic 6-0 finishing run to complete a comeback from a 9-12 hole that capped by a block on Baby Jyne Soreño.
“Yung laro kasi very dynamic yung complexion ng laro talagang up and down just like a roller coaster ride,” said Tigresses coach Kungfu Reyes after the match that lasted for three hours and two minutes.
“Very inspiring yung laro kasi every time na kaharap mo si coach Ramil at yung squad niya nailalabas ng both teams yung quality ng laro. Sabi ko kung matalo kami doon, icocommend ko pa yung player namin kasi first time maka-encounter ng ganito kagandang laro yung transition ng game talagang everybody’s game,” he added.
UST, which is currently tied with University of the Philippines in second place at 3-1, will have its hands full on NU, which boast of solid frontline in Ivy Lacsina and Sheena Toring.
But for Alyssa Solomon, the Lady Bulldogs’ tall opposite spiker, they need to be consistent on both offense and defense to sustain their perfect run.
“Kailangan mag-set ng standard para sa sarili namin, para mag-lessen ang errors na kino-commit namin,” said Solomon after NU made quick work of University of the East, 25-11, 25-20, 25-13.
The Lady Spikers seek to check a two-game skid as they play the winless Lady Warriors at 4 p.m.
Adamson, which holds a 2-2 card in a tie with La Salle in fourth, tries to extend its winning streak to three matches against Far Eastern University at 10 a.m.
Titleholder Ateneo shoots for its first back-to-back win this season as the Blue Eagles take on the Fighting Maroons in the nightcap at 6 p.m. By Theodore Jurado