COMING off an inspiring win over La Salle that lifted its sagging spirits, University of Santo Tomas hopes to carry that momentum against youthful National University at 4 p.m. today in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Centre.
Rallying around injured Milena Alessandrini, the Tigresses turned themselves from a pretender to being a contender overnight following a 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 victory over the Lady Spikers Wednesday.
"Nawala si Milena, pero we have 13 strong women na haharap sa kung sino man ang magiging kalaban namin," said UST coach Kungfu Reyes.
The Tigresses, who missed the Final Four last season, are bracing for more tough challenges in their remaining nine contests.
“Ngayon, lumangoy kami. Lahat dikit-dikit na eh. Ang importante naman ngayon, yung every game, saka na kami kukuha ng dividend sa dulo. Kung ano yung pinag-ipunan namin, kukunin namin sa dulo yung tubo,” said Reyes.
“Ang importante din, ‘yung ma-motivate ‘yung player, ‘yung mental baggage, kaliwa’t kanang distraction. So ‘yun ang nili-limit namin sa kanila ngayon, ‘di kami mag-entertain as much as possible ng mga negative vibes,” he added.
Locked in a three-way tie in third spot with La Salle and Far Eastern University, UST is just half-a-game behind Ateneo and University of the Philippines, which will face off for the solo lead tomorrow afternoon.
Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure, the veteran-rookie Tigresses duo who currently leads the league in scoring, torched the Lady Spikers with their ferocious kills, while Dimdim Pacres, taking over a huge void left by Alessandrini, was also solid the last time out.
Sporting a 1-3 card, the Lady Bulldogs hope to be competitive against the rejuvinated España-based side. NU suffered a 15-25, 19-25, 22-25 to Adamson, now handled by Onyok Getigan, last Sunday.
In the men's division, NU guns for its fourth straight win against UST at 10 a.m., right after UE and La Salle take the floor at 8 a.m.