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Feline battle: Tigresses devour Lady Red Spikers


The University of Santo Tomas Tigresses open another rebuilding season on a good note after defeating the San Beda College Lady Red Spikers in four sets, 27-25 25-18 20-25 25-18, and notched their maiden win of the 2016 Shakey’s V-League Collegiate Conference, Wednesday at the PhilSports Arena.

Guest players Eya Laure and Maji Mangulabnan played like seniors as they made their respective marks in the match. The younger Laure poured in 17 points, 15 off attacks. On the other hand, Mangulabnan pulled off 29 excellent sets and 4 points throughout the match.

After a close battle in the first set, San Beda’s guest player Janine Marciano pulled off three straight service aces, exposing the reception problems of UST. With the Tigresses having difficulty with their passing, the Mendiola-based spikers threatened to pull away, 17-12.

The Thomasinas then made some adjustments on their floor defense, allowing the Laure sisters, Eya and Team Captain EJ, were able to score off emphatic kills. The UST skippers sent their team to set point advantage, before a net touch off San Beda gave the win to the Tigresses.

Reyes shared that the team is still adjusting with each other, as evident from the close first set win. He said, “Nung first set, nag-aamuyan pa sila. Sa first ball naming nagkaproblema, kaya maraming ace ang San Beda. Sa libero, sa lahat naman, nag-aadjust pa.”

In the second set, it was UST’s turn to pounce on San Beda’s woes with the first ball, as they slowly pulled away. Middle hitters Tin Francisco and Shannen Palec showed some activity at the net with back-to-back hits. The insertion of guest player and setter Mangulabnan also paid dividends as her ball distribution and service pushed UST to a 2-0 set advantage.

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UST pulled away early in the third set, but errors on their part gave San Beda some lease for life. Marciano and Chesca Racraquin took advantage of the new-look lineup of the Tigresses and put the Lady Red Spikers in a comfortable position to take the frame. The España-based squad could not recover and another hitting error off Eya Laure surrendered the set to San Beda.

Nonetheless, the Tigresses slowly nosed out the opponents in the fourth set. Two consecutive aces from the skipper EJ Laure were all UST needed as breathing room, as the eventually fended off San Beda’s attempt to comeback. As poetic as it can be, another error, this time off Racraquin, sealed the debut win for the Thomasinas.

Wing hitters Marciano and Racraquin led the Lady Red Spikers with 18 and 9 markers, respectively.

Reyes hopes that his other players can draw motivation from the example of her guest players. He shared, “Kaya ko naman sila [Eya Laure and Mangulabnan] nilagay dito, para na rin sa leadership. Hopefully, mamotivate yung mga players ko sa college sa kanila.”

The Tigresses will take on the NCAA champions De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde Lady Blazers on Saturday, August 6 at 6pm. Meanwhile, the Lady Red Spikers will try to redeem themselves when they test their mettle against Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws on August 10, Wednesday at 4pm.

The Scores:

UST 3 – Laure EJ 18, Laure E 17, Francisco 9, Palec 5, Mangulabnan 4, Pacres 3, Guttierez 3, Sandoval 2, Bicar 2, Viray 2, Tayag 0, Rasmo (L), Pollentes (L)

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SBC 1 – Marciano 18, Racraquin F 9, Espiritu 5, Viray J 4, Cuevas 3, Eulalio 3, Viray N 2, Manuel 0, Racraquin D (L), Zamudio (L)

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.


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