UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas ended La Salle’s winning run at three matches with a shock 25-21, 25-22, 25-21 rout on Wednesday in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament at The Arena in San Juan.
UST, coming off a four-set loss to University of the Philippines on Sunday, improved to 3-4 for a three-way tie for fifth spot with National U and Adamson.
The Lady Spikers failed to build on the huge straight-sets win over league-leading Ateneo, although they remained in second spot after suffering just their second loss in seven matches.
Skipper EJ Laure scored 13 points, Cherry Rondina had 11, and Jessey de Leon added eight as UST finally won after five losses to La Salle. The Tigresses last won over the Lady Spikers in the first round of Season 75.
UST coach Kungfu Reyes said the Tigresses simply executed their plays well, needing minimal instruction from the sidelines in the one-hour and 29-minute match.
Rica Rivera, who played libero for the second time this season, registered 13 digs and 16 excellent receptions, while Rondina and Laure also shone on the defensive end with 10 digs and eight excellent receptions, respectively.
“Sa kanila ’yun, sila ang nagpanalo doon kaming coaches taga-palakpak lang, taga-sigaw lang kami sa labas,” he said.
“Lahat nang nagtrabaho is ‘yung mga players, tinulungan lang namin sila sa substitution, sa reminders pero the rest sila na ang nag-trabaho.”
La Salle was quick off the blocks, as always, but Reyes was pleased to see the Tigresses come up with solid finishes. They trailed 17-21 in the second set and 15-18 in the third but fought hard to steal the win.
“Maganda lang ’yung gising kasi hindi ko sila pinag-ensayo kahapon, pinagreflect ko muna sila kahapon. Every time kasi na natatalo kami mas motivated ang mga bata,” Reyes said.
“Ito na naman kami umaasa na magtuluy-tuloy, ang basa kasi naming mga coaches kukunin namin si UP, kukunin namin si La Salle. Eh wala mas gusto manalo ni UP,” he added.
“Sabi nga everybody’s ball game. Pag apak mo sa court, gaya ng sabi ko last time, kung sino ang mag perform ng 100 percent ’yun ang mananalo.”
Ara Galang scored 15 points, and Mary Joy Baron had 10 points as La Salle came up with an anemic outing just days after trouncing erstwhile unbeaten Ateneo.
“Siguro this time kami lang ang buenas, si La Salle siguro medyo may hangover pa siguro, ‘di mo masabi, medyo mabigat ’ yung pakiramdam nila. Pero regardless kasi pwedeng bumalik si La Salle kung hindi mo sasamantalahin ’yung ganoong pagkakataon.”
“Every timeout kami sinasabi namin, ’tignan niyo ’yung La Salle ayaw nang gumalaw, ’wag niyo nang buhayin ’yan’. Kasi otherwise may kalalagyan na naman kami. Sabi ko nga lumalamang sila, humahabol kami, kapitan lang namin at kami naman ang aangat,” he added.
“Kailangan lang namin bumangon sa pagkakadapa namin,” he continued.