In just her second year, Carballo now among UST’s leaders

Cassie Carballo. MARLO CUETO/

Cassie Carballo. MARLO CUETO/

Now an “ate” (older sister) in a young rebuilding University of Sto. Tomas (UST) squad, Cassie Carballo intends to help the Golden Tigresses in any way she can armed with whatever experience she drew from her rookie UAAP stint.

“Our coaches remind us every day, especially as a rookie last year, I am one of the ates already, and one of the bigger ways that I can help the team is by leading the newcomers,” Carballo said before her squad’s Shakey’s Super League Preseason Championship curtain-raiser clash against a familiar foe in Perpetual Help System Dalta on Saturday.

The sophomore setter helped UST to a final four finish in the last UAAP season. But since the departure of their stars, including the powerful Eya Laure, UST has pinned its hopes to its holdovers and rookies to lead their campaign.

And Carballo is up to the challenge vowing to be among the ones to embrace the leadership role.

“We’re (Golden Tigresses) all trying our best. We are working very hard every day (to be better),” Carballo said.

A consistently strong performer, UST also ended its recent National Invitationals campaign with a bronze medal but the Tigresses’ eyes are always on the bigger prize.

Team captain and libero Bernadett Pepito, Regina Jurado, Xyza Gula and Sophia Abbu will be among the notable holdovers that the España-based squad will be relying on to lift the Tigresses past the competition.

New firepower

“Since we lost a lot of important players, our main goal is to see our remaining players stand out, especially those who have played in the UAAP last time,” UST assistant coach Lerma Giron previously told the Inquirer.

The Tigresses also found new offensive power in rookie Angeline Poyos, one of the newcomers that Carballo would need to support for UST to maintain its strong momentum.

“We didn’t expect that she (Poyos) will stand out and we hope that she will continue to improve and that this becomes an avenue—even though she doesn’t play like a rookie—to increase her level of play,” Giron added.

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