University of Santo Tomas (UST) ace Riri Meneses decided to forego her final playing year with the Tigresses with less than four months before the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament unwraps on February next year.
Meneses confirmed the development, citing that she will leave the Espana-based squad due to ‘personal family matters’.
“Hindi na po ako maglalaro, personal family matters po (ang reason).”
The soft-spoken middle hitter, in fact, did not suit up with the Tigresses in the recently-concluded UniGames in Dumaguete City, where they shut down reigning UAAP champion De La Salle in the Finals to seize back-to-back titles.
A former UAAP Best Blocker, Meneses, turned her focus in playing with Petron in the Philippine Superliga (PSL) since the Tigresses bombed out of Finals contention in the UAAP Season 79. She was a vital cog for the Blaze Spikers when they dethroned F2 Logistics in a best-of-three Finals showdown in the PSL All-Filipino Conference last July.
UST team insiders said they respect Meneses’ decision, adding that they didn’t ask her to stay if she’s halfhearted.
“Hindi na kami nagpili, kung ayaw na niya, irerespeto namin ‘yun.”
“Ayaw naman namin ‘yung maglalaro siya na halfhearted siya.”
Shannen Palec and Christine Francisco will fill in the void left by Meneses at the middle while veterans Sisi Rondina and EJ Laure are expected to lead the charge for Tigresses, who are eager to reclaim their lost pride and glory come the UAAP wars.