Wanting to end their first-round campaign on a strong note, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses made sure to send a statement, notching a decisive sweep of the slumping University of the East Lady Warriors, 25-18, 25-14, 25-20, at the FilOil Flying V Centre.
After taking a major hit with the season-ending injury to Milena Alessandrini, UST forged a tie for the second spot with La Salle with a 5-2 record. This was also their best first-round finish in four years under head coach Kungfu Reyes.
“Maganda ‘yung nag-5-2 kami, siyempre, maganda pa rin ang first round namin. Dati nagsisimula kami sa 0-3. Napakaganda ng naging development ng team namin ngayon,” said Reyes.
“Ang pangit lang ay nabawasan kami ng isang tao, pero with regards sa standing, malayong-malayo sa start ko sa UST. Sana ito na ‘yung hinihintay namin. Magandang motivation ito pagpasok ng second round,” the Women’s U-23 head coach added.
The Tigresses had no problems building big leads early in each set. Behind the overwhelming offense of Sisi Rondina, Eya Laure and Dimdim Pacres, UST managed a 23-17 lead in the first set; 20-11 in the second frame; and a 16-11 gap in the third set.
Sisi Rondina powered in 17 points, while Eya Laure provided 15. The pair went 27-for-57 in attacking.
Judith Abil was the lone Lady Warrior in double-digits with 15 points. UE’s second-leading scorer Mary Ann Mendrez had just six markers.
The Lady Warriors slid to their fourth straight loss, finishing the first round at 1-6.
UST (3) – Rondina 17, Laure 15, Galdones 8, Pacres 8, Viray 8, Bicar 1, Galanza 0, Jimenez 0, Roldan 0, Delerio (L)
UE (0) – Abil 15, Mendrez 6, Olarve 3, Baliton 2, Alcayde 1, Bendong 1, Gabarda 1, Rodriguez 1, Calavano 0, Manabat 0, Arado (L)