STREAKING University of Santo Tomas faces its biggest challenge yet in the second round of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament when it goes up against early semifinalist De la Salle on Wednesday at The Arena.
The Tigresses will be going into the 4 p.m. match riding high on a four-game winning run, and the encounter against the multi-titled Lady Spikers is definitely going to be the team’s yardstick, according to coach Odjie Mamon.
“Ang game namin sa La Salle ang magiging gauge kung gaano na nag-improve ang game namin,” said Mamon, whose team disposed of traditional powers National University and Far Eastern University in straight sets one after the other.
UST star rookie EJ Laure has been on an up-and-down ride for the Tigresses. After posting 19 against Adamson, she could only muster six versus NU, but bounced back the next game with 17 opposite FEU.
Good things veterans Pam Lastimosa, Mela Tunay, and sophomore Ria Meneses have been delivering big numbers for the Tigresses, while unheralded rookie Cherry Rondina is proving to be a revelation for the Espana-based school.
After finishing the first round with a 2-5 record, UST has climbed to solo third spot with an even 5-5 card just behind La Salle (9-1).
That the Tigresses have suddenly come to life has naturally made La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus wary of the team.
“Pa-peak ngayon ang UST natalo nga nila ang NU ng straight sets. Kailangan namin sila paghandaan. Hindi pwedeng ganito ang kundisyon namin kung hindi may kalalagyan kami,” said de Jesus after the Lady Spikers survived the Lady Bulldogs, 25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 27-25.
Meanwhile, defending champion and semifinalist Ateneo clashes with FEU in the first game at 2 p.m.
Alyssa Valdez and the rest of the Lady Eagles are still unbeaten in the meet and will be gunning for their 11th straight win.
The Lady Tamaraws meanwhile, are in a four-way logjam with NU, University of the Philippines, and Adamson at fourth spot with a 4-6 card.