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Two Faculty of Pharmacy students named part of first UAAP ‘correspondents’ batch

As announced in the UAAP’s press conference for the upcoming Season 84 last March 23, the tandem of Dennise Valdesancho and Andrea Endicio will be representing the University of Santo Tomas for the season set to open on Saturday, March 26. 

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Photo courtesy of the UAAP Media Bureau

With the UAAP moving away from the traditional courtside reporter format, not one, but two Thomasians are part of the first batch of the newly rebranded UAAP correspondents. 

As announced in the UAAP’s press conference for the upcoming Season 84 last March 23, the tandem of Dennise Valdesancho and Andrea Endicio will be representing the University of Santo Tomas for the season set to open on Saturday, March 26. 

In contrast to the usual courtside reporter set-up of the previous UAAP seasons, the collegiate sporting body decided to upgrade the reporters to sports correspondents, which will give them a wider scope of reporting coverage for this year’s version of UAAP

Valdesancho, a B.S. Biochemistry sophomore, is tasked to keep up with the on-court and off-court happenings for the UST Growling Tigers, while B.S. Pharmacy senior Endicio’s official role is yet to be formally announced by the collegiate league, she disclosed to TomasinoWeb. 

”Honestly, I just wanted to land the job at first. Sabi ko sa sarili ko nung una, kahit saang school pa ako mapunta as long as I get the job, ayos na. Upon receiving the news that I’ll be representing UST, halos sumabog ‘yung puso ko because I’ll be reporting for the school I genuinely love,”  Valdesancho told TomasinoWeb in a written interview.

For Endicio, despite her positive reaction to the results, she admitted to the pressure of her new role. 

“But when it started sinking in [landing the correspondent role], dun pumasok yung kaba, yung nervousness and yung pressure of course. If you’re given the job to be a correspondent for UST, syempre hindi naman mawawala yung pressure and kaba,” Endicio said. 

Unexpected but exciting

Both admitted to applying for the traditional courtside reporter position, but now that the collegiate league has unexpectedly shaken things up, their roles are bigger than ever. 

“Everything just feels new, nangangapa kaming lahat […] At first I did expect that I’ll be doing different sports but when I heard UAAP’s side, I have to agree that it’s best we do different sports because of how hectic the schedule of UAAP is at the moment,” Valdesancho said, citing a condensed schedule as a reason for the new correspondents role. 

Endicio also defined how the role of a correspondent can evolve: “From being a courtside reporter, you can also become a co-host, you can also do this and that, and all the behind-the-scenes sa production […] mas in-open nila yung opportunities bilang isang correspondent,” she said.

However, as exciting the UAAP’s sudden expansion of a well-known role may be, the pandemic is still preventing its full potential to be unleashed. 

Virtual shift woes 

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It was also announced at the UAAP press conference that the correspondents would be working virtually. Valdesancho finds this new set-up as the biggest challenge for her this year. 

“Not being able to go to the boys’ trainings is the hardest part. Iba kasi talaga when you meet them personally. In this set-up, we have to work extra harder on contacting the team,” she said. 

Endicio shares the same sentiments on the set-up “As a correspondent, it’s your duty to give stories or to deliver stories, na talagang raw stories, off-cam stories. It’s hard to deliver an off-cam story when you’re away from the players […] so doon kami magdedepend ngayon sa mga Zoom meetings, Messenger conversations, [and] text messages.”

Regardless, they aspire to connect the team to the Thomasian community through their given platforms by reporting stories of the team and more frequent social media engagement for accessibility toward the fans. 

Valdesancho and Endicio are set to succeed Artlet junior Makyla Chavez who served as the UAAP courtside reporter for UST during seasons 81 and 82. 

Joining them in the upcoming season are UST Growling Tigers legend Dylan Ababou and UST Journalism senior Kobe Dayao as analyst and anchor, respectively. 

The UAAP is finally set to come back this Saturday, March 26 with Season 84 with the UST Growling Tigers’ opening their season in a match against the FEU Tamaraws. 

Deinell Vincent Esplana
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Joie Frances Timbas
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Laure, Tapia power Golden Tigresses to extinguish Adamson hot streak

The Espana-based squad then responded with a dominant second set with a 25-19 scoreline with contributions from Regina Mangulabnan’s double-ace, Imee Hernandez, and capitalizing on the Falcons’ errors.

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Photo courtesy of the UAAP Season 84 Media Team

The UST Golden Tigresses held off a gutsy Adamson Lady Falcons squad to win its second five-setter match, 12-25, 25-19, 25-22, 18-25, 15-9, in the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Tournament, Tuesday afternoon, at the SM Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Alike the previous sets, the decider set was sparked with a UST run led by Ypril Tapia’s back-to-back aces and an Eya Laure block to lead early in the 5th set, 7-2. However, the Lady Falcons went on a 6-2 run of their own to keep the game in the balance, 9-8.

Coach Kung Fu Reyes then called a much-needed timeout that ignited yet another Tigresses 6-1 run sealed by a Laure kill.

The Golden Tigresses started off on the wrong foot as they were down by as much as 11 points after an 8-1 Falcons run capped off by three consecutive errors for UST, 12-25. 

The Espana-based squad then responded with a dominant second set with a 25-19 scoreline with contributions from Regina Mangulabnan’s double-ace, Imee Hernandez, and capitalizing on the Falcons’ errors. 

This outing was no cakewalk for the Tigresses as the women in blue kept the match in check with ignitions of runs and rallies of their own, especially in the fourth set when they needed it most, to force a decider set, 18-25.

Eya Laure and Ypril Tapia showed way for the Tigresses as the newly-formed dynamic duo of UST posted 23 and 11 points respectively. 

Adamson, on the other hand, was powered by three double-digit contributions from Trisha Genesis with 15 markers, while Rizza Cruz and Arylle Tagsip both chipped in 10 points apiece.

The Golden Tigresses (4-2) now look to end their first-round campaign on a high note as they try their hand at halting the Ateneo Blue Eagles’ (3-3) three-game winning streak on Thursday, 4 PM, at the same venue.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Obiena resets SEA Games record, defends pole vault title

Obiena made quick work of the competition as he flawlessly vaulted through 5.40m and 5.46m in one attempt.

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Screengrab from F Thể Thao/YouTube

Thomasian pole vault star EJ Obiena stays golden as he sets a new Southeast Asian (SEA) Games record of 5.46m at the 31st SEA Games in Hanoi, Vietnam, late Saturday afternoon.

Unlike his other opponents who began at lower heights of 4.80m and 5.00m, Obiena made quick work of the competition as he flawlessly vaulted through 5.40m and 5.46m in one attempt.

His leap of 5.46m is a new SEA Games pole vault record after he previously set the record at the 2019 SEA Games where he cleared 5.45m.

After being able to set a new tournament record, Obiena was eager to break his own Asian record of 5.93m, but failed to do so in three attempts.

Obiena notched his 2nd SEA Games gold medal and the nation’s 11th gold in the tournament as of writing. 

The Tondo native almost missed this year’s rendition of the tournament due to the rift he had with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association. The rift was resolved on March 30, where both parties came to a settlement with the mediation of the Philippine Sports Commission.

The olympian now shifts his focus to the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Eugene, Oregon, USA, from July 15 to July 24.

Ernest Martin Tuazon
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Golden Tigresses bow down against unbeaten NU

Both teams aimed to work off their momentum as UST completed a come-from-behind win against the DLSU Lady Spikers in a rigorous five-setter match while NU swept the Lady Warriors in straight sets to remain unbeaten.

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Corinne Vizconde/TomasinoWeb

The UST Golden Tigresses ran out of fire from their previous match against DLSU as they fell to the NU Lady Bulldogs in four sets, 21-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-25, in the first round of the UAAP Season 84 Women’s Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, May 14, at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay. 

Both teams aimed to work off their momentum as UST completed a come-from-behind win against the DLSU Lady Spikers in a rigorous five-setter match while NU swept the Lady Warriors in straight sets to remain unbeaten.

And unbeaten the women from Jhocson remained.

Team captain Eya Laure led UST’s efforts, being the lone Golden Tigress to score double digits with 18 points while the Lady Bulldogs had five players who racked up double-digit scoring outputs. 

The match started with a struggling UST as they were behind by 10 points, but rallied late to cut the deficit to four. Overpowered by attacks and service aces from the Lady Bulldogs, UST lost the opening set, 21-25.

The Golden Tigresses warmed up as the second set started heating up with an early 5-0 run, but the Lady Bulldogs didn’t let up as they tied the frame at 15-all. A crucial miscommunication error from UST led them to the same fate as the opening affair at 21-25.

UST continued to struggle against NU’s mighty blocks and services. The Tigresses failed to solidify their attacks and receives but gained from NU’s unforced errors.

UST was down but not out as the third set was at a deadlock, 16-16. The set ended at 25-21 again but, this time, UST claimed victory as NU tallied too many errors with 16 in total.

In what became the final set, the Lady Bulldogs recovered by minimizing their errors with UST trailing 9-16. UST was unable to fight back and lost the game at 15-25.

UST was unable to distribute the sets between their attackers while making it easy for NU to read them well as they carried out strong defense, which became a winning factor for them.

The two teams will meet again in the second round, and possibly in the Final Four, should they maintain their current team standings.

With two games left in the first round, the Golden Tigresses will strive to bounce back as they fall to a 3-2 standing. They face the Adamson Lady Falcons next on Tuesday, 4 PM, at the same venue.

Joie Frances Timbas
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