UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas is a win away from at least a playoff for a spot in the Final Four of the UAAP Season 79 women’s volleyball tournament, but coach Kungfu Reyes refused to look far ahead especially with their remaining games all against top contenders.
UST improved to 7-4, tied with National University, after beating Far Eastern University, 17-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-21, on Saturday at The Arena in San Juan. But due to a higher quotient (21-19), the Tigresses hold the No. 3 spot behind Ateneo (9-2) and defending champion La Salle (9-2).
Still, Reyes, who’s also a staff sergeant in the Philippine Army, warned his wards that they will engage in an all-out war in their next three games against La Salle, University of the Philippines and National University.
“Mas magtatrabaho kami ng matatrabaho,” said Reyes. “Ano na ito labanan na ng lahi ito, ubusan na ‘to, ‘di bale nang mamatay huwag lang mapahiya, ‘yun ang labanan namin.”
Sitting at the fifth spot is University of the Philippines with a 6-5 card, followed by Far Eastern University with 5-6 record.
With a sweep of its remaining matches, UST can clinch a twice-to-beat advantage in the Final Four. However, Reyes keeps his focus on each tough match-up remaining in the elimination round.
“Dikit-dikit pa rin (sa standings) eh, anybody’s ballgame. ‘Di pa rin namin kino-consider as kung makawalo (panalo) ka (pasok ka na), hindi pa rin eh,” he said as UST draws near in ending a four-year absence in the semis.
“Kung kaya namin ipanalo hanggang sa dulo ang last three games namin, mas maganda,” he added.
But with UST on a roll, Reyes is hoping his wards won’t be satisfied just with a semis stint as the Tigresses have not won a championship in seven years.
“Anything can happen sa taas, baka bumukas ang langit sa amin baka kami mag-champion dun ‘di ba? Hopiang munggo pa rin kami kahit papaano,” he said.
“Kung kaya naming umakyat pa, magi-aim na lang kami ng mas mataas, kung kaya pa naming kumuha ng twice-to-beat advantage. Pero ewan ko suntok sa buwan na ‘yun siguro o malabo pa sa sabaw ng pusit,” he added.