UST holds off Adamson in season-opening win
MANILA, Philippines—University of Santo Tomas’ comeback bid is off to a good start after fending off Adamson University, 25-21, 25-21, 24-26, 24-26, 15-6, in the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at Mall of Asia Arena.
The Golden Tigresses were abysmal in Season 80 after tallying a 4-10 record despite Cherry Rondina and rookie Milena Alessandrini’s stellar efforts.
Rondina scored a total of 296 points, the best mark in the league, to become the Best Scorer while Alessandrini had 105 points to become the Rookie of the Year.
And it was truly a comeback for UST after it squandered a two-set lead to the Lady Falcons forcing a fifth set wherein the Golden Tigresses eventually showed their grit.
The Golden Tigresses ran to an early 5-0 lead after Eli Soyud touched the net and that lead developed into a 13-4 barrier for UST after rookie Eya Laure’s service ace.
Alessandrini then finished off the match with UST’s final two points with game-clinching one being a block on Bernadette Flora.
UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes was proud of what he saw in his team especially with the younger stars not only serving as support players to Rondina but matching up with their veteran star.
“This was a test of character and this really is the team we’ve been searching for a long time,” said Reyes in Filipino. “Before Sisi would score 30 points on her own and we’d still lose, but now she has the support.”
“Milena played softly early on but was able to ramp up the intensity in the latter periods and same thing for Eya. Even though Eya had some errors she was able to correct them and she was able to redeem herself in the end.”
Laure and Rondina both had 17 points to lead all scorers for UST while Alessandrini added 15 points.
Rookie Kecelyn Galdones also had moments for UST scoring eight points.
Flora led the Lady Falcons with 14 points while Eli Soyud and Chiara Permentilla had 13 and 12 points, respectively.