UST coach insists there are no shoo-ins as Tigresses finalize UAAP lineup
Ria Meneses, EJ Laure and Mela Tunay are competing for places in the UST lineup. Dante Peralta

LESS than a month before the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball starts, University of Santo Tomas is still looking for the final 14 players to complete its lineup.

During the team’s practice at the Quadricentennial Pavilion, UST mentor Kungfu Reyes revealed that there are no shoo-ins from the pool of 25 players as the coaching staff will be meticulous in the selection process for the Tigresses' lineup for in the tournament kicking off on January 30.

“No one is safe, lahat kaming coaches is nasa deliberation,” Reyes told, pointing out that assistant coaches Vilet Ponce de Leon and Ian Fernandez are heavily involved in the selection process.

The 35-year old Lucena native, who was firm on his decision not to tolerate drama in the team, said qualifications will be purely based on skill, also stressing that seniority won’t assure graduating players a spot in the final roster.

Aside from incoming fifth year and skipper Pam Lastimosa, who will miss the season after suffering an ACL tear on her knee, other UST graduating players Mela Tunay and Jessey de Leon, last year’s rookie of the year EJ Laure, and Season 77 best blocker Ria Meneses are still competing for their spot.

“We put the right people in the right place. Hindi pwedeng emotional attachment para makaline-up ka, senior ka ‘di ka pwedeng tanggalin, hindi ganoon. So kung sino ang talagang deserving para sa posisyon na ‘yun, ‘yun ang ilalagay namin,” he said.

“May mga masasaktan syempre kung hindi mapapasama sa lineup (kaya) tanungin mo ang sarili mo bakit ganoon anong kulang,” he added.

The Tigresses open their season with a game against University of the Philippines on January 31.

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