UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas emerged as the only team to beat Adamson University during its dominant six-year reign that featured a riveting 73-game winning streak.
But coach Sandy Barredo is cautious of the Tigresses’ chances against the Lady Falcons when they clash today at the start of their UAAP Season 79 softball championship series at the Rizal Memorial Baseball Stadium.
“Mahirap magsalita. Depende sa kundisyon ng mga bata,” said Barredo. “Pero pag na-hold ni (pitcher Mary Ann) Antolihao, it only takes one run to win.”
UST is also in the finals of the baseball championship against Ateneo.
All eyes will be on Antolihao, who hopes to play well in front of a national TV audience to neutralize the Lady Falcons’ vaunted hitting.
“Sana ma-overcome niya lahat nu’ng weaknesses niya and sana maging big help sa kanya ‘yung exposure,” said Barredo.
The Tigresses, who dropped a 3-5 decision to the Lady Falcons in the deciding match of last year’s championship series, 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 University, 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.
The Blue Eagles are eyeing their fourth title in the last five years while the Growling Tigers are gunning for a record 24th crown but their 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, will lean on Jefferson Vergara, Kirk Peralta, Kristian Angeles, while Lesmar Ventura and Ian Llave are expected to take turns on the mound.