University of Santo Tomas thwarted University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, winning 25-12, 21-25, 25-15, 25-21, to kick off the 2023 Shakey’s Super League (SSL) Collegiate Pre-Season Championship Season 2 on a high note on Saturday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
A roaring 12-2 start set the tone for the Golden Tigresses before recovering from a second-set mishap by winning the next two frames, taking an early 1-0 lead in Pool C of the 16-team tournament, in cooperation with the Commission on Higher Education and the Philippine Sports Commission.
Super rookie Angeline Poyos, named the Best Outside Hitter in the SSL National Invitationals where the Golden Tigresses finished third, continued her impressive performance by scoring 20 points on 16 hits, leading the way for UST.
Kyla Cordora and Regina Jurado contributed 13 and 11 points, respectively, for the Golden Tigresses in the SSL Season 2, featuring teams from the UAAP and NCAA, with support from Mikasa, Eurotel, Victory Liner, Summit Bottle Water, Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken, R and B Milk Tea, Potato Corner, Rebel Sports, Converge ICT Solutions, and Genius Sports.
“Medyo marami pang kailangang ipagpag, especially sa 2nd unit,” said coach Kungfu Reyes, whose players cooled down in the second frame after winning the opener by 13 points.
“Actually, wala namang nabago sa (2nd unit) namin. ‘Yun pa rin yung naglaro last time. Kailangan lang namin ayusin. Though nanalo, it’s a good game. A win is a win. Next game is Monday so kailangang maayos namin ‘yung galaw namin.”
As UST went berserk in the first set, Perpetual returned the favor in the second set with its own hot start at 8-3 to equalize the match at 1-1 behind the efforts of NCAA MVP Mary Rhose Dapol and Winnie Bedaña.
But with Jurado, Cordora, and Jonna Perdido (with nine points) joining the barrage, UST rediscovered its groove by once again dominating the third set with a 10-point win before holding on just enough in the clincher, nearly wasting what seemed like a comfortable 23-16 lead.
A Shaila Omipon drop capped Perpetual’s 5-1 spurt in the tail end of the fourth to strike within 21-24, only for Perdido to finish it off with a crosscourt attack as UST continued its dominance over the spikers from Las Piñas, following a 2-0 sweep in the bronze-medal match of the inaugural National Invitationals last summer.
Dapol and Bedaña led the Lady Altas with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
UST will aim for a 2-0 record against Letran on Monday, while Perpetual takes a long break before returning to action against the same team next Monday. Back-to-back NCAA champion College of St. Benilde is the other team in Pool C.
All games will be accessible across all platforms live and on-demand through the social media pages of Plus Network and SSL, with Solar Sports, Blast TV, and Aliw Channel 23 as TV partners.