May 29, 2024

UAAP: Kungfu Reyes takes pride in Mini Miss UST’s gallant run despite silver finish

UAAP: Kungfu Reyes takes pride in Mini Miss UST’s gallant run despite silver finish
UST coach Kungfu Reyes keeps his head high even after the defeat to NU. | Photo (c) RM Chua/One Sports

University of Santo Tomas may have fallen short of the UAAP Season 86 title, but the Golden Tigresses have much to celebrate and to be proud of.

The Golden Tigresses succumbed to the National University Lady Bulldogs in Game 2 of the Finals at the SM Mall of Asia Arena Wednesday night, settling for a second-place finish.

Still, head coach Kungfu Reyes expressed immense pride in Mini Miss UST’s overall performance.


[ALSO READ: 'Gusto ko na kaagad bumawi' | Angge Poyos hungrier than ever after UST settles for UAAP silver]


“Regardless kung matangkad ka, maliit ka, importante kung gaano katapang ‘yung puso mo, gaano ka ka-decisive, gaano ka katapang dun sa gagawin mo, may resulta na nangyayari,” Reyes said.

“Sabi nga naming sa dugout, proud kami sa mga bagets na ‘to na nilaban hanggang sa dulo.”

While Reyes is grateful for every Golden Tigresses who fought valiantly throughout the season, he took a moment to commend four of his standout players – Detdet Pepito, Cassie Carballo, Xyza Gula, and Angge Poyos.

Pepito, the captain of UST and Best Libero of the tournament, not only stabilized the back lines with her reliable floor coverage but she also provided the leadership that uplifted the morale of the team. 

Carballo, who earned the recognition of Best Setter, orchestrated the steady playmaking, keeping their offense humming. 

Gula, the 5-foot-4 dynamo, never backed down from a challenge and stepped up when it mattered most. 


Rookie of the Year and Best Outside Hitter Poyos battled through a right ankle injury, showing up for the team even when she could have opted to sit out.


[ALSO READ: UAAP: Cassie Carballo is first UST Best Setter since Season 69]


“‘Yung history na gusto naming rewrite, hindi ayun ang nangyari. Naiba ‘yung kwento so ‘yun nga, ano lang kami, sa huli proud kami sa mga players especially kay Xyza in absence of Poyos [nag step up],” Reyes said.

“[Si Poyos] tinignan naming kung kakayanin eh talagang gustong maglaro pero hindi namin isusugal na, hanggang doon lang muna siya. Kay Detdet sa leadership niya, na napaabot niya yung tropa hanggang dito. Sa Best Setter namin kay Cassie, regardless, anong height ng mga player namin, tumatangkad pag pumapalo so ibigsabihin lumulusot yung atake namin.”

Reyes couldn't help but recall the last time UST made it to the finals back in Season 81. Reflecting on both past and present, he noted significant differences but pointed out that the end result remained the same. 

The seasoned tactician hopes for another finals run next season, ideally free of injuries.

“Actually maraming pinagkaiba 'yung Season 81 sa ngayon. Mas bata ‘yung mga player dito. 'Yung injury [ni Eya Laure], Game Two 'yun eh, ito naman [kay Poyos] first game. Different people, different scenario pero iisa lang yung naging resulta, naging silver lang kami. Hopefully by next, papasok kami ulit ng Finals, free of injuries na kami, yun ang dinadasal namin,” Reyes said.

“Nalagpasan kasi namin yung semifinals na nagkakaroon kami ng sakit, ilang season na puro may ganun kami. This time, nalagpasan namin so next time na tatrabahuin namin 'yung wala ng injury especially sa Finals.”