Tigresses deserve Final 4 spot

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AFTER A year of absence from the UAAP Final Four, the UST Golden Tigresses have re-established the volleyball program they are known for back in 2010.

The Golden Tigresses sealed their tenth win of the season last April 24 which they last experienced back in Season 73.

The Golden Tigresses had been using their white jersey as their light uniform and their yellow jersey as their dark uniform at the beginning of the first round of the tournament.

But come second round, UST decided to pay tribute to their injured teammate Milena Alessandrini and wore a different jersey for the first and only time as their dark uniform on their matchup against La Salle last March 31 even if it was not their schedule to wear the dark uniform.

The officials allowed the Golden Tigresses to play following the rules on the wearing of jerseys, saying “the uniform should conform to the standard specifications of the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB).”

But the University of the Philippines (UP) Lady Maroons last April 14 invoked the UAAP rule, which states that  “a player wearing a wrong uniform shall result in forfeiture of the game for the team, provided that, if the rule on the violation of wearing a wrong uniform is not invoked at the earliest opportunity and the match is concluded, the sanction of forfeiture shall not apply.”

It is appalling that the Lady Maroons could not accept the fact that the Golden Tigresses earned the spot in the semifinals fair and square. They fought their way to be in that position and raising a uniform issue could not take it away from them.

It was evident that UP filed the complaint after bowing out of the Final Four following their loss against the National University on the same day.

The Lady Maroons’ loss automatically propelled UST and the Far Eastern University to the semifinals together with tournament leaders Ateneo de Manila University and La Salle.

No doubt that the Golden Tigresses showed their wares this season despite the loss of sophomore Alessandrini due to a left anterior cruciate ligament injury.

After their disappointing 4-10 campaign in Season 80, the Golden Tigresses picked themselves up and showed everybody what they are really capable of.

The Golden Tigresses made Thomasians believe that minor setbacks do lead to major comebacks. They gave the UST community a reason to be proud of wearing the colors black, gold and white.

The Golden Tigresses have reunited the Thomasian community and revived the Thomasian spirit.

To be fair with UP, the UAAP rules on uniforms is conflicting since it does not have a rule of its own but follows the FIVB instead.

As the country’s premier collegiate tournament, the UAAP should have an established rules regarding issues concerning the well-being of its student athletes.

But this issue shows that despite more than eight decades of existence, the UAAP still lacks clear protocols regarding the sports they handle.

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