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New-breed Golden Tigresses out to sustain Final Four streak in Season 86

2 min readThe Tigresses have been in the Final Four for the last three seasons, reaching the finals in Season 81 and finishing as fourth-placers in Season 84 and 85.
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Published 2 months ago on February 17, 2024

by Rob Andrew Dongiapon

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After years of having a clear-cut star in their lineups, the UST Golden Tigresses will enter a new chapter in the UAAP Season 86 — now with new players, a youthful core, and a newfound courage.

“This season, kaya namin,” Tigresses’ captain Bernadette Pepito affirmed. “Talagang marami lang na bagay na dapat trabahuin.”

For Pepito, the goal remains reaching the Final Four, despite losing their top three scorers from last season in Eya Laure, Milena Alessandrini, and Imee Hernandez.

“Ang goal namin talaga this season is manalo every game before mapunta sa Final Four,” Pepito said.

The Tigresses have been in the Final Four for the last three seasons, reaching the finals in Season 81 and finishing as fourth-placers in Season 84 and 85.

After winning the Best Libero plum last season, Pepito returns for UST along with opposite hitter Regina Jurado, outside hitter Jonna Perdido, Xyza Gula, Pia Abbu, and setter Cassie Carballo.

The Tigresses' lair will also welcome emerging rookie Angeline Poyos, Kyle Cordora, and Mary Banagua, among others, in hopes to fill the hefty roles left by the graduated players.

Young but reliable rookie

However, most eyes will be on Poyos’ UAAP debut as the 20-year-old outside hitter impressed in preseason tournaments, oftentimes carrying the most cudgels in the offensive end for UST.

“Yung pinakita ni Poyos, hindi namin in-expect. Alam mo yun, rookie eh,” Pepito said. “Kulang pa sa experience, and tiwala sa sarili, syempre bini-buildup pa niya. Pero pinakita pa rin niya kung sino siya”

“Never niyang pina-ramdam sa amin na rookie siya. Nakakabilib. Normal na magkamali, pero yung pinakita niyang tapang, walang kapantay.”

Poyos was named the Shakey’s Super League 1st Best Outside HItter last August, leading the Tigresses to a bronze-medal finish in a tournament ruled by reigning UAAP champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers.

Poyos is expected to continue her scoring surge in her first season in the collegiate ranks alongside fellow spitfire spiker Jurado, and the emerging Gula, Abbu, and Perdido.

In terms of chemistry, Pepito noted the team’s youthfulness allowed them to build better connections with each other.

“Ngayon, mas napadali kasi, ayun nga, bata kami,” said Pepito. “Mas nagkakaintindihan kami this time, walang major adjustment sa amin. “

The Tigresses will start their Season 86 campaign on Sunday against the NU Lady Bulldogs at the Mall of Asia Arena.

UST

Pepito

UAAP volleyball

Season 86

Tigresses

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Rob Andrew Dongiapon

Sports Editor

Rob Andrew L. Dongiapon is a Sports Editor at TomasinoWeb. He is an avid fan of sports and competition. He also finds great entertainment in combat sports, He continues to strive to make this love of sports pay his future bills. Aside from studying journalism, he writes for Thunderous Intentions where he displays his unhealthy love of the Oklahoma City Thunder. When he is not writing, he probably is watching YouTube videos of how to take over the world.

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