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Golden Tigresses proud to have stood their ground vs Lady Bulldogs

MANILA, Philippines – Despite losing in the UAAP women's volleyball finals, the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses are keeping their heads held high. 

UST was swept by National University in the best-of-three championship series on Wednesday, giving the Lady Bulldogs their second title in three years. 

Tigresses head coach Kung Fu Reyes voiced pride in his young group for bringing the fight to the tall and mighty NU. 

"Like what I said in the dugout, we are really proud of the young team. They really fought until the end, but it just came up a bit short," the veteran coach told reporters in Filipino. 

"We had a lot of takeaways this time. The history that we wanted to rewrite did not happen, but we are still proud of our team," he added.

While the Espana-based squad was able to tie Game 2 up at one set apiece, the Lady Bulldogs came from behind to win Set 3. 

And in front of the 22,515 fans at the Mall of Asia Arena, the Lady Bulldogs bared their fangs and roared to the championship with a masterclass in the fourth set, as the former’s tall frontline just overpowered the Tigresses. 

Reyes, however, would stick to the lessons learned.

"We had a lot of lessons taken this season. Regardless if you are tall, small, what's important is the bravery in your heart," the coach said. 

"The important thing is your decisiveness and how brave you are in what you are doing, there will be a result," he added. 

UST captain Detdet Pepito, for her part, said that while the Tigresses came up short this season, they proved that they have what it takes to win. 

"Like what the coaches told us, we will not allow the same feeling to be felt next season. But, we are proud of each other, my coaches and teammates that while we are smaller [than our opponents,] our hearts were bigger," she said.

The season's best setter Cassie Carballo also voiced gratitude to their experience of playing in the finals. 

"I am very grateful for having this experience, that even though we are young, we really played our hearts out. But, we just came up short," Carballo said.

"Hopefully, next year,this will not happen again. We will work harder." 

Reyes, meanwhile, lauded his wards for the effort they