UAAP: UST coach hopes to see consistency from Viray

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 27 2019 04:56 PM

UAAP: UST coach hopes to see consistency from Viray 1
UST's Caitlyn Viray (4) was the Player of the Game in their win over Adamson. File photo. Richard Esguerra, ABS-CBN Sports

MANILA, Philippines -- University of Santo Tomas (UST) head coach Kungfu Reyes has waited for a long time for a middle blocker to join him in the customary post-game press conference following a victory in the women's volleyball tournament.

So far in UAAP Season 81, it has been mostly skipper Sisi Rondina and rookie ace Eya Laure who joined the UST head coach in talking to the press. 

On Wednesday, however, after a victory over Adamson University, Reyes was accompanied by veteran middle blocker Caitlyn Viray.

"For how many years, ngayon lang ako nakasama ng gitna dito sa loob. Luckily si Caitlyn ang gitna na nakasama ko sa loob ng press room," Reyes observed.

Viray had shone in UST's triumph over Adamson, scoring 14 points in a quick 25-15, 25-12, 25-16 triumph. She accounted for 3 of her team's seven blocks, and her activity at the net helped limit the Lady Falcons to just 18 attacks in the game.

It was a career-best effort for the middle blocker, who had averaged just 4.25 points per game in UST's first eight assignments before her breakout game.

"Nag-perform si Caitlyn, na medyo matagal na naming hinihintay na pumasok dito," said Reyes. "Masaya kami, at least nadagdagan itong dalawa (Rondina and Laure)."

"Kailangan niya lang lumabas sa shell niya," he added of Viray, who is playing in her third season for UST.

Viray, for her part, was simply thrilled to have contributed to UST's cause -- especially as the Golden Tigresses were coming off a heartbreaking five-set defeat to Ateneo de Manila University in their previous contest.

Rondina and Laure had done the heavy lifting in that game; Viray was limited to just two points in that contest. 

"Definitely, confidence-booster ito," said Viray. "Pero marami pang kulang."

Reyes's hope is that Viray will be a more consistent performer as UST continues to search for a third contributor to take the pressure off Rondina and Laure.

"Hopefully, more to come," he said. "Nag-deliver siya eh. May depensa, ang daming nakuha sa block at 'yung atake mas naging aggressive."

"[Sana] ma-maximize namin 'yun, ma-maintain at mahigitan pa ni Cait, at mahawaan niya si Kacey (Galdones) and the rest ng mga quickers," he added. 

The Golden Tigresses return to action on Sunday in a marquee showdown with defending champion De La Salle University.

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