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Salinggawi Dance Troupe eyes 9th championship, aims to gain back Thomasians’ trust

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The UST Salinggawi Dance Troupe placed fourth in last year's UAAP Cheerdance Competition. Photo by Kennelf Monteza/TomasinoWeb.

With an apparent decrease of school spirit after the Growling Tiger’s unfortunate last-place finish, the much-supported Salinggawi Dance Troupe desires to bring back the trust of the Thomasian community in their athletes by aiming to win at this year’s UAAP Cheerdance Competition.

“Gusto naming mabalik ‘yung tiwala ng mga Thomasians sa mga atleta nila kasi since nangyari ‘yung sa basketball team natin, parang nawala ‘yung trust nila sa mga athletes nila. Gusto lang namin ibalik ‘yung trust nila in a way, by showcasing our talent and by winning,” Salinggawi president and captain Benjo Gutierrez told TomasinoWeb.

Despite missing the podium last season, Gutierrez remained positive, channeled this as an inspiration, and had even higher hopes for the team this year by eyeing not only a podium finish but their ninth championship.

“Ang iexpect nalang ng Thomasian crowd, or ng iba pang fans ng cheerleading, is a much more fiercer, a much more bolder, and mas matapang na Salinggawi Dance Troupe,” he said.

The Salinggawi Dance Troupe has been preparing since July, and two days away from their competition day, Gutierrez claimed that the team is already 95 percent ready.

“Nagprepare kami syempre bukod sa physically tsaka mentally, emotionally din tsaka spiritually. Kasi medyo maraming challenges na dumating sa amin as a team and as individuals, pero na-manage naman naming isurpass sila lahat,” he explained.

New head coach

With Salinggawi alumnus Mark Anthony Chaiwalla being appointed as new cheer coach, the team is bound to experience some changes and adjustments from their five-year stint with ex-coach Ramon Pagaduan IV.

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“Syempre first year niya (Chaiwalla) sa’min, tapos ‘yung mga dating members naabutan si coach Ramon, rocky masyado eh kasi parang hindi nagm-match. Hindi namin siya gets minsan, minsan hindi niya kami gets, pero na-manage na naman namin na magcompromise,” Gutierrez stated.

Despite claiming their relationship as “rocky,” Gutierrez praised Chaiwalla for his “act of boldness” and for trying to bring out the best in each of the team’s members.

“Hindi niya kami kino-constrict. Gusto niya kaming maging best versions ng self namin,” he ended.

The much-awaited UAAP Season 80 Cheerdance Competition will happen on tomorrow, Dec. 2, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

by Gillian Patricia Geronimo

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Tigresses pick apart NU in four sets

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Photo by Genelaine Urbano

The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses pulled a shocker against the NU Lady Bulldogs, 22-25, 25-22, 25-21, 25-9, to keep their Final Four bid alive in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at the Smart Araneta Coliseum Sunday.

Tied at 5-all in the fourth set, the España-based squad took advantage of NU’s defensive woes, unleashing a whooping 20-4 surge to easily close the game with a lopsided victory, 25-9.

UST’s net defense overwhelmed the Lady Bulldogs as the Tigresses tallied 12 total blocks compared to NU’s five.

UST Head Coach Emilio “Kung Fu” Reyes highlighted his players’ major improvements on the game, but he stated that the process doesn’t stop with their latest win.

“This time medyo nagiging maganda ang resulta ng mga pinaghihirapan namin, at halos lahat ng mali naicocorrect na namin,” he said. “Pero hindi naman kami tumitigil doon siyempre.”

“Every game, nag-concentrate kami at pinagbubuti ng bawat players yung mga ginagawa nila, especially sa mga roles nila,” Reyes continued.

UST had the comfortable edge in the first set after capitalizing on NU’s eight errors, 22-19.

However, NU took advantage of UST’s collapse down the stretch, rallying a 6-0 run to reach the set point, 22-25.

Cherry Rondina led the Tigresses with 25 points while Milenna Alessandrini registered 19 markers.

NU’s Jaja Santiago scored game-high 27 points in a losing effort.

UST’s second straight victory now earns them a 4-7 win-loss slate, while NU’s second-round woes continue after suffering their fourth straight loss.

“Nakuha naman namin ang respeto sa mga sarili namin especially doon sa mga bata na ‘to, kasi sila talaga yung nakataya diyan,” Reyes explained.

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The Tigresses will try to continue their momentum against the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Apr. 4, Sunday, at the same venue.

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Golden Tigresses halt losing streak, clobber Lady Maroons

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Photo by Audrey Janelle Fontilla/TomasinoWeb

The University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses ended their five-game losing skid versus the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons, 19-25, 30-28, 25-20, 25-16, in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament at the Filoil Flying V Arena in San Juan Saturday.

Down by two points in the latter part of the second frame, 21-23, UST climbed back to lead, 24-23, to inch closer into winning the set.

The two teams battled back and forth until UST finally won, 30-28, to even the score at one set apiece.

It was a defensive play by UST with blocks from Milena Alessandrini that gave them the lead early in the third set, 4-1.

The Tigresses lead by eight points, 15-7, midway through the set before UP exploded with seven straight points to close the gap, 15-14, but UST flipped the switch to finish the set strong, 25-20.

The España-based squad leaned on their balance effort in the fourth set and sealed the match, 25-16.

“Individually and as a group malaking bagay yung panalo na ‘to, masyado na kaming nabugbog eh. Ang importante is hindi talaga kami susuko,” UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes stated.

Coach Kung Fu highlighted the play of his reserve player, Mia Dizon, for her stellar play inside the court.

“Siya [Dizon] yung nagbigay ng additional reinforcement sa amin, di man siya umaatake nang ganon kalakas, di naman siya nagtatapon at malaking tulong siya sa depensa,” Reyes mentioned.

Star player Cherry Ann Rondina said that she huddled the team before the match to talk about what needs to be done to gain a win and halt their losing skid.

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“Sabi ko sa kanila huwag niyong pasikatin ‘yung Sisi [Rondina] lang. Gusto ko ‘yung pangalan ng school natin and walang isang tao [lang] na magtratrabaho,” Rondina uttered.

The Tigresses’ next game will be against the National University Lady Bulldogs on Sunday, Mar. 25, at the same venue.

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UST Galvanize rules Street Dance Competition; Prime fails to reach podium

Senior high’s street dance team Galvanize bagged their first UAAP tournament championship.

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Photo by Audrey Janelle Fontilla/TomasinoWeb

The University of Santo Tomas took split wins as Galvanize brought home the championship in the Juniors division of the UAAP Season 80 Street Dance Competition at the Mall of Asia Arena Sunday, while Prime fell short in the Seniors division landing in fourth place.

Galvanize finished with a score of 82.30 points while the FEU Baby Tamaraws Dance Company and the UE Street Warriors settled for second and third place with 71.50 and 71.10 points, respectively.

“Everything is possible with God,” UST head coach Chips Beltran stated.

In the Seniors division, the Zoo-themed Prime landed in fourth place with 75.40 points behind third-placer UP Street Dance Club with 78.60 points.

The FEU Street Alliance claimed the championship with their mafia-inspired performance amassing a total of 85.75 points while De La Salle Street Company, last year’s champion, gave up the title and landed second with 79.50 points.

“Para sa akin isa ‘yun sa mga gusto kong runs nila [Prime], one of their best runs and satisfied ko after nila magperform,” Assistant Coach Meeko Evangelista said. “Basically ginawa lang namin kung ano kami, kung saan kami sanay and ano yung ginagawa namin talaga.”

This year was the first time that the competition included high school teams from different universities.

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