by Kristel Satumbaga
With the all-out support of the University of Santo Tomas community, Sisi Rondina promised a memorable farewell performance in the school’s no-tomorrow showdown with Ateneo.
Denied of the school’s sweep bid of the UAAP women’s volleyball crown on Wednesday, the high-leaping Cebuana spiker had mixed emotions after the game watched by a sea of “gold and blue” fans.
“Siyempre malungkot, pero thankful pa rin at naramdaman ng family ko kung paano sumuporta ang UST community sa amin,” said the 5-foot-6 Rondina. “Basta sa Game 3, gagawin ko ang lahat para makabawi sa UST community.”
Rondina’s family flew from Cebu on Tuesday with the help of a group of UST alumni, who shouldered their travel expenses along with the families of setter Alina Bicar from Samar and Dimdim Pacres also from Cebu.
Rondina earned the admiration of the UST community not only for her great leaping ability but for her exemplary leadership.
Nobody expected UST to make it to the Final Four but Rondina and coach Kungfu Reyes willed the team to the finals by dethroning three-time defending champion La Salle in the semis.
While she hits the ball with impunity, she endeared herself to her teammates because she constantly provides them comfort and motivation in victory or in defeat.
The family witnessed Sisi’s ups and downs in a hectic day, where she was awarded the Season Most Valuable Player and 2nd Best Outside Spiker trophies before the Tigresses bowed to the Lady Eagles, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15, that forged a deciding match on Saturday at the same venue.
“Masaya ako at nakapunta kami dito sa Manila at mapanuod siyang maglaro. Kasi sa Cebu lang kami, nababasa lang namin yung mga tungkol sa kanya,” said Sisi’s mother, Alona, who was also a volleyball player during her high school days.
“Sabi ni coach, eto yung taste ng natatalo. Gawin naming motivation. Babawi at babawi kami,” said the graduating UST star.
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