UST survives ‘worst passing’ to inject life into Final Four hopes

The worst passing so far.

That was how UST head coach Kungfu Reyes described his team’s reception in their 5-set victory against NU Saturday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

In 5 sets, the Golden Tigresses only tallied 10 excellent receptions — 3 of which came from outside hitter Cherry Rondina.

“Grabe. Ito na ‘yung pinaka-worse na nakita ko ang receive namin,” shared the UST coach.

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The UST coaching staff swapped liberos from Gi Reyes to Mia Dizon then back to Reyes a couple of times as the 2 belles struggled at the most inopportune time.

Their hurdle to flawlessly bring the ball to the setter was especially highlighted during the 3rd and 4th sets, which NU won to extend the match to a decider.

“Nag struggle kami sa receive namin sa 3rd and 4th set. Pinipilit namin i-compose ang mga libero namin pero until the last set nagtatapon kami ng bola eh,” shared Reyes.

Fortunately, UST already had 2 sets as cushion to land on when the girls off España sputtered mid-way through the match.

“First time namin manalo ng 1st set, 2 sets. Usually kami ang down eh. ‘Yun ang kagandahan pag meron kang pondo na set,” he said.

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The learning curve of both Reyes and Dizon should be expected as both of them were spikers converted to a non-scoring position tasked to man the floor for the Golden Tigresses.

“Ewan ko paano nila tinatanggap ‘yung pressure. Dapat when challenge escalates, dapat ‘yung leadership nag escalate din. ‘Yung libero namin umaayaw,” he said.

But a win is still win as the coach recognized the hard work of every single one of his wards, saying he hopes to solve the reception issue in the games to come.

“Mahirap ‘yung pinagdaanan ng tropa,” said Reyes.

“Sana ma-overcome namin ‘yung receive namin kasi nakaka-atake kami pag may receive kami,” he closed. — By Mac Dionisio

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