MANILA, Philippines – University of Santo Tomas (UST) owns the distinction of being the lone team to beat Adamson University during its dominant six-year reign that featured a 73-game winning streak in the UAAP softball competition.
Nevertheless, UST coach Sandy Barredo remains cautious of the Tigresses' chances when they face off against the Lady Falcons anew in the UAAP Season 79 softball championship series that begins at 8 a.m. on Tuesday at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
"Mahirap magsalita ng magsalita e. Depende sa kundisyon ng mga bata," said Barredo. "Pero pag na-hold ni (pitcher Mary Ann) Antolihao, it only takes one run to win."
All eyes will be on Antolihao, who hopes to play well in front of a national TV audience this time to neutralize the Lady Falcons' hitting.
"Sana ma-overcome niya lahat nung weaknesses niya and sana maging big help sa kanya yung exposure. Si (Adamson) coach Ana (Santiago), medyo ninenyerbos 'yan," said Barredo.
The Tigresses, who dropped a 3-5 decision to the Lady Falcons in the Season 78 championship decider, also have a bevy of hitters in Mallows Garde, CJ Roa, Celestine Palma, Sheila Mae Perales and Lealyn Guevarra.
UST is eyeing its first crown since the Aiza dela Torre-led squad emerged triumphant in the 2009-10 season.
Adamson, a 15-time champion, will rely on Angelie Ursabia, the league leader in homeruns with four, Delyrose Covarrubias, Florabele Pabiana, Krisha Cantor and pitcher Rifalayca Basa.
It can be a double celebration for UST as the Tigers will begin their best-of-three series against for the baseball crown against Ateneo de Manila University at 12 noon.
The Blue Eagles are eyeing their fourth title in the last five years, while the Growling Tigers are gunning for a record 24th crown and the first in six years.
Graduating skipper Renzo Ramos will lead Ateneo along with Marco Mallari, Dino Altamonte, Christopher Hilario and ace pitcher Paulo Macasaet.
UST, which finally emerged from the shadows of National University and De La Salle University, will lean on Jefferson Vergara, Kirk Peralta, Kristian Angeles, while Lesmar Ventura and Ian Llave are expected to take turns in the pitching department.
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