Perdido Jonna Perdido: A star in making after logging 21 attacks, three blocks and five receptions in UST’s five-set win over DLSU. UAAP photo

UST stays perfect

February 27, 2024 Theodore P. Jurado 137 views

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas had to grind it out those three victories to become the remaining undefeated team in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.

After opening the season with a stunning straight-set romp over National University, the Tigresses rallied from a set down to beat Casiey Dongallo-led University of the East.

Squandering a two-set lead and staring at a 9-12 deficit in the fifth, UST scored the match’s last six points to beat La Salle, 25-18, 25-23, 14-25, 16-25, 15-12, before a season-high crowd of 12,240 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena.

“Wala nang madaling panalo ngayon, lahat pinaghihirapan talaga especially kaharap mo yung defending champion,” said Tigresses coach Kungfu Reyes.

At 3-0, UST is on its finest start since opening the 2010-11 season with six straight victories.

The Tigresses flipped the switch after everything went downhill when the Lady Spikers mounted a fightback from a 0-2 set hole to force a fifth set.

At the end of the most exciting match of the season, it was heart over height that prevailed.

“Doon naman sa UST, talagang yung motivation nila sobra sobra pero nung dumating ng third and fourth, biglang na lowbatt na. Again we’re happy kasi nanalo lalo nung fifth set hindi bumitaw kahit ang layo na ng score nung fifth set,” Reyes said.

Angeline Poyos, who is second behind fellow rookie Dongallo in scoring after the first week, and Jonna Perdido proved to be the Tigresses’ new top hitters, Cassie Carballo has risen to become the league’s top setter, while libero Det Pepito showed why she is one of the best in her position.

Up next for UST is a duel with long-time volleyball rival Far Eastern University on Sunday. The Lady Tamaraws overcame Dongallo’s 30-point outburst to beat the Lady Warriors, 22-25, 25-17, 25-18, 25-27, 15-11 in a fitting appetizer to the Tigresses-Lady Spikers contest.

“Parehas galing sa panalo. Kung paano kami naghanda sa lahat ng nakalaban namin, same pa rin. Same weight ang gagawin namin sa kanila,” said Reyes.

“Ngayong season talaga, hindi ka na puwedeng magpakupiyansa kasi lahat puwedeng gumawa ng eksena o manalo. Kami, iyon ang mindset namin, as a group. Ipe-prepare namin kung sino ang makakalaban namin,” he added.