University of Santo Tomas (UST) will battle defending champions National University (NU) in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) juniors’ volleyball finals on Tuesday at the Adamson University (AdU) Gymnasium in Manila.
The NU Lady Bullpups completed a 12-0 sweep in the eliminations, while the UST Junior Tigresses whipped the De La Salle Santiago Zobel School (DLSZ) Junior Lady Spikers, 25-19, 25-22, 24-26, 25-18, in the step ladder semifinal last November 17.
“We know their capabilities. But our big problem is our unforced errors. We will do our best to change and improve our plays,” said UST head coach Emilio Reyes Jr.
But the UST mentor admitted that NU has dominated the league and prepared very well and that NU has good resources.
“There were few teams that can give them a hard fight and we are the ones left that can beat them. Now, we are in the finals, we’ll extend what we can do but it still depends on how the volleybelles will play. Of course, we will help them so that they can be at par with NU. They (NU) really dominated the league. But we won’t allow ourselves to be left behind and we will do our best.”
“Our players have trust on themselves and they have the good motivation. Hopefully, we can get the championship crown,” Reyes added.
In the boys’ division, the NU Bullpups and the UST Junior Tigers Spikers denied their respective foes in the semifinals. Both teams closed the elimination round with a 12-2 record.
The Bullpups avenged their first-round loss against the Far Eastern University (FEU) Baby Tamaraws, 19-25, 25-18, 25-20, 25-23, last November 15.
The Junior Spikers, on the other hand, blanked third seed University of the East (UE) Junior Warriors, 25-17, 25-15, 25-20, last November 17.
“During our second game against NU, we prepared for their game like what they will do but unfortunately, the players failed to execute. So we’ll keep on training and hopefully, we can execute,” said UST assistant coach Rommel Abella.
Abella addressed that his team needs to improve reception and blocking. “We really need to improve those two aspects, those two skills if we wanna beat NU and if we wanna gain the championship.”
The clash between the UST Junior Tigresses and the NU Lady Bullpups will start at 1 p.m., while the boys’ finals will follow at 3 p.m.