It has not been a good year for the UST community.
Their two most popular teams, the Tigers and Golden Tigresses have shown signs of struggle in their respective contests, with the men's basketball team finishing with their worst showing ever, and the women's volleyball squad sitting at the bottom with a 2-7 slate.
Fourth-year player Sisi Rondina, who had sensed the frustration of the 40,000-strong community, delivered a promise of not letting the school, its fans, and themselves down by showing a poor performance.
Sadly, the team has failed to deliver.
The Cebu native has always been known for her explosive, workhorse-like mentality, which has earned the endearment of fans and non-fans alike, even being named as the top scorer at the conclusion of the first round, carrying the load of the team that had lost EJ Laure in the offseason, and both Rica Rivera and Milena Alessandrini temporarily to injury.
After netting their fifth straight loss, Rondina could bottle her frustration no more, admitting to shedding tears after their three-set loss against rivals FEU.
"Umiyak ako kanina. Wala, naiyak lang talaga ako kanina (kasi) kaya pa ‘yun eh, wala lang parang wala kaming pang-end game and ‘yun ‘yung kailangan talaga naming trabahuhin and ‘yung willingness talaga na manalo."
Despite the dominant performance of Rondina, her teammates, sadly could not keep up and performed below expectations.
Nevertheless, with Rondina carrying that team-first mentality, she will never blame anyone, perhaps never.
Even though the Tigresses could sweep the rest of the tournament and earn a 7-7 slate, their fate is no longer in their hands with a powerful showing by the top four teams in the standings.
"[On feeling of frustration], siguro sa standing namin ayun lang hindi naman big deal sa akin na ako lang mag-isa ang ano ko lang siyempre nilalaban nina coach kami and kahit lalaruin na lang namin hindi pa namin sila kayang ilaban so doon lang naman ako nafu-frustrate," Rondina said after the game.
The Cebu-native also thanked the UST community for showing up, and supporting the team just like when they were in better times.
Seen as a vocal leader, Rondina says she always reminds her teammates of bringing pride to the UST community, but when the going gets rough, she would just stop and fall silent.
"May time lang talaga na tumatahimik ako na kailagan ko muna mag-isip kasi ang pangit kasi na magsasabi ako, ayaw ko naman na ako lang parati ang ganoon. Syempre mas maganda pa rin ‘yung may nakukuha akong side sa kanila and ako nagbibigay rin ng side ko.
Even though it ended in a straight-set defeat, Rondina was happy that her team showed heart, but had came up short for the fifth straight time.
"Pero it was a nice game kanina talaga kasi kahit ganoon pa man at least nalaban namin and doon lang naman kami nagkatalo, wala kami pang-end game. Sure kami na tatrabahuhin namin ulit."
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