CAITLYN Viray has proven that University of Santo Tomas is far from being an exclusive Sisi Rondina-Eya Laure show.
Viray shone with a career-high 14 points built on nine attacks,three blocks and two aces, helping the Tigresses rout Adamson, 25-15, 25-12, 25-16, on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament at the Arena in San Juan.
“Happy kasi yun nga nakatulong na ako sa team and nage-gain ko na yung confidence,” the third-year middle blocker said. “Hopefully malaking tulong to para sa mga next games pa na mas importante pa.”
Viray admitted that their five-set loss to Ateneo last week served as a wake-up call for UST's role players after Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure carried most of the load for the team with 35 and 21 points, respectively.
That’s why she and Dimdim Pacres took it upon themselves to ease the load off the UST star pair. Pacres contributed 12 points to the Tigresses' cause.
“Yung Ateneo game sobrang frustrated kami nun. Nagusap kami nila Ate Dim na kung mas tumaas 'yung points namin doon, siguro mananalo kami,” she said.
UST head coach Kungfu Reyes was happy to see Viray finally come out of her shell hoping that she could maintain it for the rest of their campaign now that they have a good standing 6-3 win-loss record at second place.
“May depensa, ang daming nakuha sa block at yung atake mas naging aggressive,” Reyes said. “Ma-maintain at mahigitan pa ni Cait, at mahawaan niya si KC (Galdones) and the rest ng mga quicker namin sa loob, magandang bagay sa amin.”
Rondina and Laure agreed.
“Ganoon talaga siya maglaro. Parang tahimik lang pero pumapatay and masaya kasi marami na kaming katulong, hindi lang sa amin nafo-focus,” Rondina said. “Ang sarap pakinggan, ang sarap sa feeling na kaming UST ang naglalaro, di lang kami-kami lang.”
“Siyempre ako as a rookie, proud ako kay Ate Caitlin kasi iyan ang matagal na hinihintay ng team,” Laure added. “Nakukuha na niya ‘yung rhythm niya, ‘yung confidence niya sa paglalaro which is ‘yung pinaka-importante pag naglalaro ka.”
Viray vowed she won’t be a one-game wonder.
“Bilang isa doon sa mga naiwan na mga players na hindi rookie, importante siya sa amin na makatulong kami kina Ate Si, kela Eya na makuha yung (Final Four at finals),” Viray said.