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Ateneo win a much needed lift for Mela Tunay



After a turbulent run through the tournament, the UST Tigresses got the character-building win they came into the Shakeys’ V-League College Conference for, after handing Ateneo its first loss in over a year.

The win represented a milestone for a team in a coaching and philosophical transition and, more importantly, raised the morale of a team who nearly missed out on a slot for a semis seat.

Perhaps no Lady Tigress could represent UST’s up-and-down season more than fifth year wing hitter, Carmela Tunay. Just when she was playing incredibly, injuries struck the Makati native – first a broken nose which caused her to miss a few games, then a finger pinky injury which she valiantly played through.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ateneo win a much needed lift for Mela Tunay

Tunay notched 15 points last Sunday and provided crucial points near the end of sets. With UST leading 24-18 in the game-winning set, UAAP MVP Alyssa Valdez strung together four consecutive points to keep her team in the game. To end the match, UST pulled out a combination play in the following point which Tunay finished emphatically. Taking into account that the Tigresses turned their fortunes around in less then a day and after a crushing Game One loss, it only made the win that much more tremendous.

“We ate as a team and discussed things over. We focused on the remedy na kaya pang gawin rather than the problem. Kasi may opportunity pa naman talaga. What we did was cover up sa bawat teammate namin na may kahinaan and pinagtatakpan bawat isa. Story that day was teamwork and will lang din siguro talaga,” Tunay told Tiebreaker Times.

“Well for me sobrang ‘di ko maexplain. Kasi when I got injured. Magkasunod yung nose fracture tapos 2 weeks later yung buto ko naman sa pinky na-corbo. Sabi ko, ‘Ano bang problema? Nagwoworkhard naman ako? Totoo siguro na kung akala natin nandoon tayo sa landas na gusto natin puntahan, God will put us somewhere better. Despite the hardships and struggles, talagang pinaramdam nya ‘yung salvation and fulfillment. I believe that win was God’s way to let us realize na He works through us and that teamwork can really bring [us] far together,” Tunay replied when asked for her thoughts on the win’s effect on her and the team.

Philippine Sports News - Tiebreaker Times Ateneo win a much needed lift for Mela Tunay

The Tigresses have an opportunity to enter the Shakey’s V-League Finals with a win later today. UST has the most SVL titles and continuing that tradition would mean a lot for this batch of Tomasinas. According to Tunay, managing their emotions will be key for the Ladies from España. “Hard to focus – always naman hard magfocus kahit normal game. Napakaraming distractions – school, overthinking sa game o kaya physical na mga iniinda. Pero yung after nung win na ‘yun we have to balance yung feeling na nakakaoverwhelm and i-maintain yung confidence na naachieve namin dun. Kung baga timplahin lang. Alalahanin namin na kaya namin pero alalahanin din na hindi madali,kailangan trabahuhin,” Tunay expressed.

“If we win tomorrow, wala na sigurong mas perfect way to boost our confidence rather than that win. Parang, dun may mapapatunayan kami sa mga sarili namin na maaabot namin yung goal namin ng sama-sama. Sabi nga ni coach, hanapin namin yung reward dahil alam namin sa sarili namin na pinaghihirapan din namin yun everyday,” she closed.

Catch Game Three later today at 4 p.m. at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan City. The winner will face the NU Lady Bulldogs in the Finals.


Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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