UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas leaned on rookie Regina Jurado in dealing Ateneo its fourth straight defeat in the form of a 25-19, 25-23, 25-14 win in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

15 March 2023

Games Saturday:
(Filoil EcoOil Centre)
9 a.m. – UE vs UST (Men)
11 a.m. – UE vs UST (Women)
3 p.m. – FEU vs NU (Women)
5 p.m. – FEU vs NU (Men)

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas leaned on rookie Regina Jurado in dealing Ateneo its fourth straight defeat in the form of a 25-19, 25-23, 25-14 win in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament Wednesday at the Filoil EcoOil Centre.

What could be her finest showing yet, Jurado came away with 12-of-23 attacks and fired all of her three service aces in the third set where the Tigresses quite literally dominated the Blue Eagles.

The win came as a sweet revenge one of sorts for the Espana-based UST Tigresses, who were shown the door by Ateneo in last year’s stepladder semifinals as the Blue Eagles eventually finished third, dislodging the Tigresses on the podium.

“Grateful po kasi lagi sinasabi ni ate Eya (Laure) sa amin na in a way parang bawian din from last season na sila po ang nanlaglag. Grateful po na kasali po ako ngayon sa win today against Ateneo,” said Jurado.

Equally impressive behind the net, Eya Laure added 10 points, laced a powerful back-row attack that gave UST a 2-0 lead in the tightly contested second set,

She also had 12 digs, and six receptions, while Imee Hernandez had two blocks for a nine-point effort.

“Naka-execute kami, medyo malinis-linis yung galaw namin. I think wala kaming service error today napakasarap sa pakiramdam na lalabas kami na wala masyadong unforced errors,” said coach Kungfu Reyes after the Tigresses moved up to 4-2 in solo fourth.

Actually, Reyes is not a bit surprised by Jurado’s composure and maturity inside the court now and even way back.

“I’m not surprised because ever since she’s been playing like that. I’m just waiting for them to mature together because this is our investment all throughout high school. Regina has been part of the program for almost six years and now she is part of the spotlight,” Reyes said in an earlier interview with mainstream media. “There are still ups and downs on her game. But what’s important is she knows how to recover and accept her role through her actions.”

“This is the result of their hard work in practice. That’s why they have been giving their all every game, every set, and every point,” Reyes added.

Earlier, Far Eastern University went through the wringer before beating the University of the East, 25-19, 18-25, 25-12, 22-25, 15-5, to earn its third win in six matches and keep within a distance of UST.

The loss was the Blue Eagles’ fourth straight – and fifth loss in six contests – the worst start by the Katipunan-based squad in the Final Four.

Vanie Gandler led Ateneo with 13 points and seven receptions, Faith Nisperos hammered 11 kills while Lyann de Guzman also tallied 11 points, including two blocks, and five digs.

Chenie Tagaod logged a career-high 23 points, including three blocks and two service aces, while Jov Fernandez was also huge for the Lady Tamaraws with five blocks for a 22-point effort and 13 digs.

“Sobrang happy na first round pa lang, to be honest, na-exceed yung expectation. Since nandito na kami, hindi kami puwedeng huminto.” said first-year FEU coach Tina Salak. “So puwede pa naming i-achieve more yung…I mean higher expectations, siyempre, achievable naman dapat. Para tuloy-tuloy yung team. Tuloy-tuloy ang journey namin ngayong Season 95.”

Setter Tin Ubaldo also delivered with 21 excellent sets and fired a match-best three service aces while Lady Tamaraws libero Marga Encarnacion collected 35 digs.

In the men’s division, Mark Calado had 23 points, including three blocks, as FEU primed up to its much-anticipated duel with titleholder NU this weekend with a 25-21, 25-23, 23-25, 25-20 tripping of UE for its fourth straight win.

“Ang maganda nag-deliver pa rin yung boys kahit na tight yung schedule nila kasi midterms week. Galing pa rin ng boys,” said coach Rei Diaz after the Tamaraws improved to 5-1 overall.

JM Andaya had five blocks for a 20-point outing for the Red Warriors, who extended their losing streak to three matches and fell to 2-4.