Short break for Tigresses

Saturday, 17 Dec 2016
Nads Ong - Correspondent - @nadineisreal

University of Santo Tomas (UST) is willing to sacrifice its Christmas season just to come up with a solid preparation for the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) women’s volleyball tournament, which fires off in February.

This year, the Tigresses have a realistic chance of winning the crown.

After falling out of the Final Four race with the emergence of Far Eastern University (FEU) and University of the Philippines last year, the Tigresses launched a massive buildup and joined competitive leagues like the Philippine Superliga and V-League.

The hard work paid a handsome reward as they ruled the University Games in Dumaguete City last October, besting other collegiate teams like University of Perpetual Help, University of the East and reigning UAAP champion De La Salle University.

Save for Carmela Tunay, the core of Sisi Rondina, EJ Laure, Ria Meneses and Chloe Cortez would be back together with a slew of rising stars who can stand their ground against UAAP’s best players.

But still, talent alone couldn’t win any game.

UST coach Kungfu Reyes said they would have very brief Christmas break to make sure that everybody would remain in great shape.

We need to sacrifice our Christmas break in order to prepare. We’ll still celebrate our Christmas with our family, but we’ll make it short. We want to make sure that we would not lose our momentum and would remain in our peak form. It’s hard, but we have to do it.

Great chances

Reyes, the former UST star who is also coaching RC Cola-Army in the PSL, said unlike the previous season, they have great chances of emerging victorious this year.

Although La Salle would still retain its roster of Kim Fajardo, Kim Dy, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili while FEU still has Remy Palma, Bernadeth Pons and Kyle Negrito, the Tigresses would not allow themselves to be overpowered by these collegiate superstars.

And Reyes said they will back it up with a lot of hard work.

I believe that we have better chances this season.”We’re not making any promises, but we’ll make sure to work hard in practices everyday. We’ll take it one game at a time.

True enough, UST is treating the UAAP seriously. And while everybody is on vacation, the Tigresses would be working hard in an empty gym.

For them, the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.