UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes chose to look at the brighter side of the team’s streak of misfortune this year.
Already on a four-season semis absence in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament, UST suffered another blow on Wednesday after it missed the Final Four of the Shakey’s V-League for the first time in its 13-year history.
One of the six pioneer teams in the V-League along with Lyceum, Far Eastern University, Letran, and La Salle, UST bowed out of the playoff picture after losing to the Grethcel Soltones-led San Sebastian side, 20-25, 18-25, 25-16, 19-25, at the PhilSports Arena.
But for Reyes, who’ll be on his second year as UST mentor, the lessons that they got along the way and the experience in top-level competition will all bode well for his young team.
“Nandito kami, we don’t care about kung anong mangyayari. Ang kailangan namin dito ay kung ano ang magi-gain namin. ‘Yun ang unang-unang intention namin,” said Reyes, who fielded most of his Team B players and two of his high school standouts Eya Laure and Maji Mangulabnan.
“Di na ako madu-dwell doon na nawala kami sa Final Four, pwede naman kaming bumalik sa mga susunod pa,” he added. ““Hindi naman lagi na nasa Final Four ka. Sabi ko nga, regardless kung anong mangyayari rito, ang importante ay kung ano ‘yung matutunan namin.”
Reyes also refused to blame the absence of veterans EJ Laure, Sisi Rondina, Chloe Cortez and Alex Cabanos for their exit. Laure and Rondina are in Thailand playing for Foton Pilipinas in Thailand Women’s Volleyball Championship, while Reyes opted not to include Cortez and Cabanos in the off season tournament.to San Sebastian.
“Well, part ng progress yan ng UST. Hindi naman naming ina-undermine ang ang mga tao kasi kumpleto naman kami, 14 pa rin kami,” he said. “Hindi naman kami puwedeng magsabi na wala si ganito, wala si ganyan. Doon lang namin makikita at makikita ng lahat na ito lang muna kami, ito ‘yung resources namin.”
“Pwede naman kaming ‘di sumali para lang maituloy namin ang history, para lang hindi magalaw. Mag-leave of absence kami. Kaya lang sign of kaduwagan ‘yun kung hindi kami sasali. Ito kami, wala kaming dapat ikahiya,” Reyes added.
UST has a chance to close its stint on a high when they play Ateneo on Monday.