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UST volleyball oozes with talent

University of Santo Tomas head coach Kungfu Reyes faces the good problem of selecting players that will see action in the University Athletic Association of the Philippine Season 85 women’s volleyball tournament.

The noted mentor in a phone interview with Daily Tribune said that the coaching staff is now in the process of assessing the performance of their players based on a couple of pre-season tournaments that the Tigresses participated in as they look to improve from a fourth place finish in Season 84.

“Actually, we’ve been assessing our players right after both pre-season tournaments based on performance — individually and as a group,” Reyes said.

While a handful of last season’s holdovers including prized spiker and veteran Eya Laure are considered shoo-ins for the final lineup, Reyes admitted that he is having a hard time deciding who among UST’s promising rookies will get a chance to wear the school’s black and gold jersey.

“I would say that we are having a good problem filling our lineup as we have a good batch of rookies this season. What will matter now in our selection is who among our rookies performed best during the pre-season,” Reyes said.

UST’s freshmen were given exposure during the inaugural Shakey’s Super League Collegiate Preseason Championships.

The likes of rookies Xyza Gula and Regina Jurado as well as Season 84 Covid reserves Pierre Abellana and Athena Abbu displayed great potential in their performances as they emerged as go-to-girls of the Tigresses in the absence of Laure and with most of the seniors getting limited minutes.

UST finished fourth in the tournament featuring all eight teams in the UAAP and 10 squads from the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

“It’s hard to choose whom we will pick among our rookies as most have great skills and high volleyball IQ. They may not be that tall but most can outperform even other taller players. Again, it’s a good problem, a welcome problem for us,” Reyes added.

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