MANILA, Philippines — Detdet Pepito and Regina Jurado vow to show maturity in leading the rebuilding University of Santo Tomas in the Shakey’s Super League (SSL) National Invitationals.
The Golden Tigresses begin their post-Eya Laure era in Pool B of the national tournament against CESAFI champion University of San Jose Recoletos of Cebu on Sunday at FilOil EcoOil Centre in San Juan.
Libero Pepito, who was tasked to be the skipper of the team, is ready to take charge as a leader after Laure’s departure as well as Imee Hernandez and Milena Alessandrini.
“Most of the seniors from our team are third year but we have to show maturity. We’re doing our best to lead them and I am telling them to step up this time because we can’t rely on anyone but ourselves [holdovers and rookies],” said the reigning UAAP Best Libero in Filipino.
Regina Jurado, an incoming sophomore spiker, is also ready to step up for her young team as UST will have to move forward after Laure’s four seasons with their team including a final appearance in Season 81 last 2019 during her rookie year.
“We have to show our leadership inside the court. It doesn’t matter if you are a senior or not. From someone who already played in the UAAP, I have to lead our new teammates, who might feel the pressure,” said Jurado in Filipino.
“Since the team is rebuilding, as someone who knows the system, I need to remind and lead them since most of our new teammates are from different provinces,” she added.
Jurado, who had an impressive rookie year in UST’s fourth-place finish in Season 85, is putting a premium on building their team chemistry in this tournament.
“The team needs to work on its chemistry since the skills of the players are already there. So far, we’re still building on it since most of our members are new and from high school,” said the young wing spiker.
Pepito is confident of her young team in the SSL as most of them have been familiar with coach KungFu Reyes since high school.
“So far, we’re okay since most of us are from (UST) High School. The system has been there from high school to college. It’s not that hard to play as one because we can see our new teammates adapt quickly to our system,” she said. “Building our chemistry is important since this league will gauge the readiness of our players in carrying the team for the next UAAP season.”
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