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UST shows no mercy

The Tigresses mounted a 4-0 fightback to claw their way out of a 15-19 deficit in the second frame.

Regina Jurado of UST tests the defense of University of Perpetual Help’s Sheila Omipon in their SSL National Invitationals battle for third series opener yesterday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan. The Lady Tigresses won, 25-15, 25-22, 25-15. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF SSL

University of Santo Tomas outclassed University of Perpetual Help System Dalta, 25-15, 25-22, 25-15, to draw the first blood in the best-of-three 2023 Shakey’s Super League National Invitationals battle for third series yesterday at the FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.

Other than a little scare in the second set, the Tigresses were in control from start to finish to make quick work of the Lady Altas and move within a win of claiming the consolation bronze medal.

UST can close the series in Game 2 on Saturday at the same venue.

The Tigresses pulled away early in the third set after flirting with disaster in the second frame as they vented their ire on Perpetual following a stinging five-set loss to De La Salle University in the knockout semifinal last Friday.

Sophomore Regine Jurado was sharp as ever, hitting 14 of her 28 attack attempts and landing five aces to lead UST with 19 points.

“Our coaches told us to just play our game. Perpetual is not an easy team to beat. We just gathered ourselves in the third set because we kind of lost our confidence in the second set,” Jurado said.

The Tigresses mounted a 4-0 fightback to claw their way out of a 15-19 deficit in the second frame. UST rookie Angeline Poyos tied it at 20 before both teams exchanged service errors in the next couple of plays.

Poyos then ignited a closing 4-1 run for a 2-0 match lead.

UST opened an 8-2 separation in the third frame before sealing the 77-minute encounter.

“We saw a lot of good indications that the team remains a competitive one. Although we have a young team, this is a promising team individually and as a group,” Tigresses head coach Kungfu Reyes said.

“At the same time, we earn the respect of our opponents because of the efforts our players put in.”

Poyos backed Jurado up with 13 points with all but one of her productions coming off spikes while Mary Banagua and Xyza Gula put in 10 points each for the Tigresses.

The Lady Altas were outgunned, 47-29, on kills and allowed UST to land 16 aces.

Reigning National Collegiate Athletic Association Most Valuable Player Rhose Dapol was the lone bright spot for Perpetual with 12 points.

Charmaine Ocado got nine markers while Shaila Omipon and Winnie Bedana had little contributions on offense with a combined eight points for the Lady Altas.

Game 3, if needed, will be played on Sunday.

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