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Golden Tigresses spank Lady Bulldogs in rousing debut

Angeline Poyos (No. 17), Regina Grace Jurado (No. 18) and Maria Cassandra Carballo celebrate a point during UST’s 25-19, 25-23, 25-22 win over National University Sunday in their UAAP Season 86 women’s volleyball match at the Mall of Asia Arena. | photograph by Joey Sanchez Mendoza for the Daily Tribune @tribunephl_joey

Setter Cassie Carballo delivered an inspired performance as University of Santo Tomas flashed its fangs in tearing down National University, 25-19, 25-23, 25-22, for a perfect start in the University Athletic Association Season 86 women’s volleyball tournament Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The sophomore playmaker effectively utilized the weapons of UST especially in the wing with rookie Angge Poyos making her presence felt with a rousing debut of 16 points from 13 kills and three kill blocks.

Carballo tallied 20 excellent sets and had six points including four aces for UST.

“I’m surprised with the result. But I’m not surprised with how they played because that’s how they are during practice,” UST coach Kungfu Reyes said.

“I guess we got up on the right side of the game. We brought our A-game because practice makes permanent. That’s what’s happening to our game now. Again I was not surprised with how we played, just in the result of the game.”

Jonna Perdido and Regina Jurado had 12 points each while freshman middle Margaret Banagua banged in 10 points for the Golden Tigresses’ 98-minute beating of last year’s runners-up Lady Bulldogs.

The Tigresses controlled most of the match but got threatened early in the third set after NU took a 9-8 lead. But Carballo answered with three straight aces to spark a telling run to take the lead.

The Lady Bulldogs tried to rally and closed in, 22-21, only for UST to put an end to their misery with a 3-1 finishing run.

Alyssa Solomon registered 16 points, Vange Alinsug made 11 while Season 85 Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player Bella Belen struggled with a measly nine points for NU.

Earlier, Far Eastern University gave debuting head coach Manolo Refugia a welcome gift in a quick work of University of the Philippines, 25-23, 25-21, 25-18, to start its campaign on a winning note.

“This first game will serve as our rallying point heading to our next games.  Our chemistry and our preparations for the past months will be put to the test this season,” Refugia, who took over the spot of now-team consultant Tina Salak, said.

Sophomore Gerzel Petallo wreaked havoc at the net with 12 kills and accounted for half of the Lady Tamaraws’ eight kill blocks to finish with a game-high 16 points.

Chenie Tagaod chipped in 12 points all from kills while setter Tin Ubaldo, who dished out 14 excellent sets, and Jean Asis combined for 14 points as FEU handed the Fighting Maroons their 12th straight loss starting from last season.

The Lady Tamaraws opened big leads early throughout the whole match but would dip midway through only to pull away once again at the closing stretch in all three frames.

Nina Ytang produced 14 points in a losing cause while Jewel Encarnacion had 11 for UP.

Meanwhile, the Golden Spikers pounced on the Bulldogs’ rusty performance to stun the defending champions in straight sets, 25-23, 26-24, 25-19, in an early rematch of last year’s finals.

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