UST coach Reyes defiant despite slim chance of making Final Four: 'Pipilitin pa rin namin'
UST coach Kungfu Reyes sees an uphill climb to reach the Final Four as the slumping Tigresses can no longer afford to lose the rest of their games. Marlo Cueto

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas hitter Sisi Rondina may be unbowed but coach Kungfu Reyes admitted that the Tigresses' chances of making the Final Four of the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament has significantly dimmed following the loss to University of the East.

Coming from a three-game losing skid at the end of the first round, luck remained elusive for UST as it lost to UE, 23-25, 25-18, 26-28, 24-26, on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

The loss relegated the Tigresses to the seventh spot, tied with their tormentors, 2-6.

“Wala na akong pakialam doon kung papasok ba kami ng Final Four kasi naging mas malalim ang dadaanan namin lalo, napakahirap,” said Reyes.

UST, though, is not out of the picture as it has six remaining games in the second round. But with the loss to the Lady Warriors, the Tigresses can't afford to lose the rest of the way.

“Pipilitin pa rin namin. At least sa remaining games namin, guluhin na lang namin ang standing baka sakali umakyat pa kami. Mayroon pa kaming anim na laro,” said Reyes.

It was a bitter pill to swallow for Reyes, who played for UST in his college years and won three championships and two runner up finishes.

UE scored its first win over UST in the Final Four era, which started in 1994.

He even reminded his wards before the game to protect UST’s pride.

“Actually noong naglaro ako, I never heard na nanalo (ang UE sa UST) that’s why I told them kanina gawin niyo na lang para sa eskwelahan,” said Reyes.

“‘Pag natalo tayo dito gagawa kayo ng history hanggang sa pagtanda niyo dala natin ‘to, sama-sama, so history happened ngayon,” he added.

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