Having crossed ‘breaking point,’ Tigresses seek bounce back, Final Four slot

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KungFu Reyes said that he is somewhat glad that University of Santo Tomas’ first loss in Season 86 of the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament came when it did.

“We learned a lot from that,” Reyes said as his Golden Tigresses had a full week to lick their wounds and address what they need to for the resumption of their campaign on Wednesday against Adamson at Mall of Asia Arena. “The good thing about that (their first loss) was that it came in the second game of the second round.

“We had what we call our breaking point,” he said, referring to a 23-25, 25-17, 25-21, 25-20 loss to National University that snapped an eight-game winning streak that opened their season. “That’s why we need to enhance and apply everything we learned (from that loss).”

The first serve is set at 4 p.m. with a win not only getting the Tigresses back on the winning track but also shoving the overachieving squad to its fourth straight Final Four appearance.

Reyes knows exactly what happened against Bella Belen and the rock-solid Lady Bulldogs.“I reminded them, ‘if we lose a point, lose a set, we should never lose our character,” Reyes continued in Filipino. “This time we lost a game, and definitely, we should never lose our character.

“Our mental toughness is important,” Reyes said. “We need to recover (mentally).”

Santo Tomas remained atop the standings despite the defeat, and a win against the Lady Falcons will allow the Tigresses to stay there even if National posts an expected victory over University of the East (UE) in the 2 p.m. contest.

Finishing in the top two after the eliminations carries a lot of importance because of the twice-to-beat bonus, and Belen and the Bulldogs are also chasing that, being at No. 3 heading into their final five games.

“We need to have the drive to win every game,” Belen, the Season 84 Rookie-MVP (Most Valuable Player), said. “We need to make sure that every game we keep on improving.”

Adamson and UE are fighting for their respective lives, with losses practically eliminating them from further contention being at 2-6 coming into Wednesday.



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As things stand, La Salle has No. 2 spot with the Bulldogs at No. 3. Idle Far Eastern University is at 4-4 and is clinging on to the final semifinal slot with Ateneo at 3-6 and still having a solid shot.

Incidentally, the Lady Tams and the Eagles battle it out on Thursday in a game that means more for Ateneo. INQ





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