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Heartfelt Victory: Detdet Pepito emphasizes UST’s ‘big’ heart in triumph over La Salle

University of Santo Tomas entered the UAAP Season 86 Women’s Volleyball Tournament wanting to prove one thing – that heart is mightier than height.

Seen as one of the more undersized teams in a sport that usually requires towering height to increase the chance of winning, the Golden Tigresses have already put together three consecutive impressive wins with two coming off title favorites National University and De La Salle University.

After sweeping the Lady Bulldogs in their first game, UST needed to showcase their grit to beat University of the East.

Then on Sunday night came their biggest test so far.

The Golden Tigresses won the first two sets but the defending champion Lady Spikers roared back with dominant third and fourth frames, 25-14, 25-16, to force a decider.

In front of 12,240 fans inside the SM Mall of Asia Arena, UST then gave La Salle a dose of its own fightback medicine, finishing the game with six straight points to turn a 9-12 hole into a 15-12 win for the 3-0 record after two hours and 41 minutes.

“For me po kasi and sa team namin, talagang gusto namin may mapatunayan kami this season na hindi lang talaga height yung kailangan sa volleyball para manalo,” said Golden Tigresses captain Detdet Pepito, who stands at 5-foot-2.

“Para sa akin, naipakita namin na mas malaki talaga yung puso namin this game and this season.”

UAAP86-Womens-Volleyball-UST Heartfelt Victory: Detdet Pepito emphasizes UST's 'big' heart in triumph over La Salle News UAAP UST Volleyball  - philippine sports newsWith this defining all-heart win against the defending champions, UST now stood tall as the lone unbeaten team in the eight-team field.

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Head coach Kungfu Reyes shared what he told his team after losing the third and fourth sets by big margins and what worked out in the end.

“Ang advice ko lang sa kanila we lose a point then we lose a set, ang sinasabi ko do not lose our character kasi yun ang nagdadala talaga sa amin eh,” said Reyes.

“Sabi ko whatever the result, kailangan buo yung character namin. Gaya nito, whatever the result especially nung fifth set, masaya in a way kasi nakita mo na lumalaban at naidikit namin sa dulo. At least nag respond sila doon sa we lose a point, we lose a set, but do not lose your character as a team.”

Pepito, however, reminds his team that their record proves nothing yet as there are still 11 games left to be played in the elimination round.

The Golden Tigresses will shoot for win no. 4 next Sunday against Far Eastern University at the same Pasay venue at 4 p.m.

“Sinabi ko nga po na ang goal talaga naman namin is manalo muna kami every game before kami mapunta sa Final Four at Finals,” said the Season 85 Best Libero.

Written By

Just a kid from Cavite trying to make a difference.

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