|UST Golden Tigresses coach Emilio "Kungfu" Reyes Jr. puts his arms around his team between the third and fourth sets during their battle with the Ateneo Lady Eagles last Sunday. Reyes tried to provide encouragement to his team and said that they're all in this together.|
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Three points for the UST Golden Tigresses to take after two matches
by rick olivares
It’s not a good start to the season. The hole the UST Golden Tigresses found themselves in last season has opened once more and is threatening to swallow the lot of them.
Can they put their campaign for a Final Four slot back on track?
Sure. They just have to be very mindful of three things.
They need a good start to their sets.
They have for the most part of the two games been playing catch up. That is hard for a team. They need a good start. It starts with good receiving and moving the ball forward for the setter to put things in motion.
In two matches, UST is leading the field in errors with 69 for an average of 34.5 per match. In contrast, UE that is also winless and has only won one set to the Golden Tigresses’ three won sets, has only 61 errors. That does make you think.
The Golden Tigresses may still be second best in blocking at the net but their digging and receiving finds them both at sixth place.
A good start and a better commitment to defense should be in their adjustment plans.
They need to veterans to play well.
As it is, the young players are carrying this team — Cherry Rondina, EJ Laure, and Rica Rivera. You can even add setter Alina Bicar to the mix. In fact, with Pam Lastimosa out because of a knee injury, the scoring burden has fallen on Rondina and Laure. It’s good because they are the ones with the skill to get it done from their respective positions.
But they still need the veteran players to really support them. I recall in Adamson’s last match — a loss to NU — Lady Falcons head coach Sherwin Meneses also posed that challenge to his veterans. They need to support the rookies who are the ones playing well.
Chloe Cortez played well in the latter sets. Marivic Meneses went to the bench mid-second set and wasn’t sent back.
Alex Cabanos was started at setter this time but she really couldn’t get her team going. Sure Rondina was checked early in the match but there are other options. Mela Tunay — God bless her — is in her final year but she is playing well only in short bursts. She needs to elevate her game and not come in as a sub. Ditto with Jessey De Leon.
They went up against tough teams but the Golden Tigresses have yet to play La Salle, NU, and UP. FEU isn’t a gimme either. The quota for first round losses is done. If they want to place themselves on the path to the Final Four, they have to win their next match.
Now having said that, UST….
They don’t just roll over and die.
A positive! Finally!
A five-setter. A four-setter. Sure they may have ended in a loss for UST but at least they aren’t giving up. They just need to put things together.
The talent is there. They have depth too. They just need to realize it.
During one time out, head coach Kungfu Reyes put his arms around his players. It’s like saying, “Hey, we’re all in this together.” And that is what they need to do to get going — to play together.