UAAP Preview: UST Tigresses raring to show fighting form despite stacked odds
UST will try to regroup after losing many key players from their lineup last season. Jham Mariano

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas veteran Sisi Rondina vowed the Tigresses are ready to overcome tough odds facing its campaign in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament.

The UST energizer bunny was the first to step up for the team after losing four players due to graduation - Pam Lastimosa, Chloe Cortez, Ria Meneses and Alex Cabanos - while EJ Laure had to sit out the season with a shoulder injury.

“Wala akong ibang iniisip is ilaban kung ano ‘yung meron kami,” said Rondina.

“Hindi namin po kayo bibiguin, lalaban po kami hanggang huli para sa UST. Go USTe!”

For head coach Kungfu Reyes, they will have to make do of what they have and not look at what was gone.

“Ang panghahawakan na lang namin, siguro 'yung drive, 'yung eager to win, 'yung ilalaban ang lahat,” he said.

“‘Di bale ng mamatay, 'wag lang mapahiya. Ganoon lang 'yun,” he added. “Anu't ano man, ilalaban namin hanggang sa huli, hanggang sa huli ng makakaya ng mga player.”

Laure’s injury was a big blow for the Tigresses, who were gunning to move a notch higher than their third place finish last year.

But Reyes stressed that UST is not all about Laure.

“We don't even talk about it na wala na si EJ, ganito-ganyan, kasi pwede namang mabuhay pa 'yung team eh. Hindi naman 'to EJ's team, it's everybody's team, UST team kami,” he said.

Helping Rondina reach their goal are skipper Shanen Palec, Carla Sandoval, Tin Francisco, Dimdim Pacres, RJ Rivera and Fil-Italian recruit Milena Alessandrini. 

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