MILENA Alessandrini shone the brightest among current and former University of Santo Tomas volleyball stars in an exhibition game on Wednesday night.
Alessandrini powered the current Tigresses to a 25-20, 25-22, 25-17 win over a star-studded Alumni team before a roaring crowd at the UST Quadricentennial Pavilion.
The Fil-Italian outside hitter only played in the first and third sets yet finished with 16 points from eight hits each from the two sets.
Rookie sensation Eya Laure and second-stringer Dimdim Pacres also shone with seven points each while freshman KC Galdones and team captain Sisi Rondina added six markers each.
"Sobrang honor for us na makilaro 'yung mga naunang Tigresses sa amin kasi sila talaga 'yung nagdala ng mga championships and prestige sa UST na kailangan namin i-maintain," said Rondina, who is set for her final year at Espana.
"Malaking boost sa amin na makasama sila before the season. Nakita rin namin 'yung support ng buong UST community na sana tumuloy hanggang UAAP."
The UST alumni, led by honorary head coach August Sta. Maria with Mozzy Ravena and Vilet Ponce-De Leon calling the shots, pushed the current Tigresses squad to the limit the first two sets before wavering in the third.
Ging Balse-Pabayo led the Alumni team with nine points. Jessey De Leon and Pam Lastimosa chipped in five points each, while Aiza Maizo-Pontillas added three markers. Season 72 Finals MVP Rhea Dimaculangan provided the excellent plays.
“Sa tingin ko talaga kaya nila mag-champion ngayon," Balse said of the current UST team. “Kailangan lang nila ng kumpiyansa and kailangan nila harapin 'yung mga darating na challenge. Meron na sila nung talent para manalo."
Season 69 MVP Venus Bernal, Maika Ortiz, Maru Banaticla, Rubie De Leon, Mela Tunay, Shannen Palec, Mia Hirotsuji, and Dancel Dusaran also saw action.
Angge Tabaquero, Denise Tan and Kat Carangan were in uniforms but did not play.
EJ Laure and Alex Cabanos also graced the event in street clothes, while former UST high school star turned Ateneo Lady Eagle Alyssa Valdez watched from ringside.