UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas finally ended a five-match skid, fighting from a set down to beat Far Eastern University, 21-25, 27-25, 25-16, 25-23, on Saturday in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
Skipper Pam Lastimosa hurt her ankle in the first set but went on to lead all scorers with 17 points, while pint sized rookie Cherry Rondina scored 16 as the Tigresses scored only their second win in seven matches.
Mela Tunay chipped in 15 and Ria Meneses added 11 for UST.
“Si Rondina ’yung nag spark kasi si EJ (Laure) kahapon hindi nag practice masakit ang ngipin, I don’t know kung nag carry over ngayon,” said UST coach Odjie Mamon, noting that the rookie’s intensity boosted the Tigresses’ low morale.
“Intensity,” said Mamon when asked about Rondina’s game. “Siya lang kasi among sa players ‘yung intense kita mo naman.”
The Espana-based UST spikers were leading, 22-19, in the fourth set when back-to-back errors gave FEU a chance to tie the match 22-all.
Lastimosa came up with a power hit as UST took the upper hand but her service error tied the match 23-all. UST held on as Jessey de Leon scored on a faulty reception by FEU. Meneses blocked Charlemagne Simborio’s attempt as the Tigresses sealed the victory.
“Not really right the combination pero ’yung adjustments nila they’re becoming to be a team now kumbaga isa na ang lakad nila,” said Mamon. “Mas focused kami ngayon unlike ’yung previous games na forgettable ’yung performance.
The Tigresses remained in the seventh spot (2-5), but Mamon was happy to see his team stop the skid.
“Mahirap pag (natalo pa kami kanina) baon na baon na ’yun 1-6,” he said.
Rookie Toni Basas scored 13 points for FEU, while sophomore Bernadeth Pons and Geneveve Casugod added 12 and 10 markers, respectively.