Angeline Poyos and Margaret Banagua

The injuries sustained by UST rookies Angeline Poyos and Margaret Banagua during their five-set win against the Ateneo Blue Eagles on Wednesday were “nothing serious,” according to Golden Tigresses assistant coach Yani Fernandez.

Fernandez told the Varsitarian that the two would be slowly eased into full-intensity training before their game against National University on Sunday.

“Okay naman sila right now, nothing serious,” Fernandez said. “Pero as advised by the doctors and physical therapists, they will rest for two days.”

During the Ateneo game, Poyos collided with the UAAP’s advertisement board while chasing the ball late in the fourth set. She continued to play until the end of the match but not without limping and wincing.

“Okay lang naman ako,” the outside hitter told the Varsitarian. “May bruises lang ako kasi nawalan ako ng control sa paghabol ng bola…Okay na ako. Hindi naman malala.”

Banagua injured her left knee following an awkward landing during the Tigresses’ last game of the first round against the Adamson Lady Falcons on March 16. Similar to Poyos, she continued to play until the end of the game and remained active against Ateneo.

“It started no’ng game namin against Adamson, sumakit lang ‘yong left knee ko,” Banagua said. “So far, wala pang findings from the doctors. Pain lang talaga ang na-feel ko, hindi siya major injury.”

“Siguro fatigue na rin, luckily kinaya ko pa maglaro versus Ateneo. I underwent rehabilitation na rin naman.”

Fernandez said the rookie middle blocker would undergo a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) procedure. The team’s orthopedist has reassured them that Banagua’s injury is not related to the ACL or MCL.

In the meantime, the two players would be given time to rest to ensure they are ready for the next game.

“We will try to slowly go back to our original routine. Active rest, para hindi stagnant,” Fernandez said. “For now, alalay lang talaga muna sa training since galing din kami sa five sets and prelims pa. Dahan-dahan lang, pero hindi puwedeng totally zero, active rest talaga.”

With Poyos and Banagua injured, Fernandez anticipates that UST’s second-string players will need to step up.

“Given our situation, kailangan talaga ng tulong from second stringers namin,” he said. “They need to step up when it comes to point production and siyempre, less errors.”

Fernandez also said that the Golden Tigresses would continue training even during Holy Week to maintain their momentum.

“Sa Holy Week break, do’n magsa-sum up lahat ng puwede naming gawin sa rehabilitation and strength and conditioning,” Hernandez said. “Hindi puwedeng maging complacent, hanggang March 27 pa ang training namin. We will use this break in our favor, we will not waste the momentum we have right now.” 

The undefeated UST Golden Tigresses (8-0) will face the third-seeded NU Lady Bulldogs (6-2) at the Araneta Coliseum on March 24, Sunday, at 4 p.m. before the league will have a week-long break to give way for the Holy Week. with reports from Bjorn Del B. Deade