After off-night, Tunay praises Rondina, Laure for stepping up

In the first game of her final UAAP year, Carmela Tunay found herself benched as she watched University of Santo Tomas lose a heartbreaker to Adamson in the Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Philsports Arena in Pasig City.

Largely ineffective in the first 2 sets, Tunay was relegated to the sidelines as the Golden Tigresses desperately tried to mount a comeback before falling short against the Lady Falcons in 5 grueling frames.

“It was an off-night for me,” she told FOX Sports in Filipino. “I didn’t deliver what was expected from me, so coach (Kung Fu Reyes) had to shuffle his rotation.”

Reyes’s decision to bench her veteran hitter proved to be effective, as the Espana spikers found their form in the third and fourth sets.

Limited to only 5 points, Tunay admitted she felt a little jealous while cheering for her teammates from courtside.

“Mixed emotions,” she admitted. “Although I know the reason why I was benched. I asked myself why I didn’t do the right thing when I was inside playing.”

While she has regrets, the senior spiker knows she must focus on how she can bounce back.

“When they started winning, I just looked forward to the time that I will be joining them inside,” said Tunay, who also commended the gallant effort of youngsters Cherry Rondina and EJ Laure to extend the match.

“They have what it takes to be game-changers,” she shared. “It’s a good sign that someone can take over when the seniors are having an off-game.” — By Jason Mercene