Prized hitter Sisi Rondina woke up on Saturday with a message coming from one of her volleyball inspirations.
University of Sto. Tomas legend Ging Balse-Pabayo gave the graduating skipper a few words of advice as Rondina prepared for Game 1 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball best-of-three Finals.
“Umaga pa lang nag-message na sa akin si Ate Ging sabi nya, ‘Lagyan lang talaga ng puso, effort lahat ng gagawin nyo,’” Rondina said.
A member of UST’s Season 69 champion team, Rondina just felt overwhelmed that a Tigresses legend took time to give wish her well.
“Sabi n’ya, proud na proud siya sa amin. Sabi ko sa kanya, ‘Yes Ate Ging. Sana makita namin kayo mamaya. Tayo naman,’” continued the Season Most Valuable Player. “Nag-reply siya na, ‘Oo, tayo naman.’”
Inspired by words of encouragement from a former Queen Tigress, Rondina played like a woman possessed, wowing the crowd with her explosiveness as UST swept Ateneo de Manila University, 25-17, 25-16, 25-20, to draw first blood in their Finals showdown.
The Cebuana-native finished with 23 points with 20 coming off attacks added 12 digs for the Tigresses, who moved a win away from reclaiming the crown it last held in nine years ago in Season 72.
Balse-Pabayo witnessed UST’s impressive stand as she was joined by another UST legend in Venus Bernal, the last Tigresses Most Valuable Player award winner (Season 69) before Rondina.
“Ang sarap sa feeling na isa sa mga beterana nagbigay ng tiwala sa amin na kaya namin and naniniwala na makukuha at makukuha namin,” she said.
From one queen to another, Rondina stayed true to her word.
Now, only one win separates her from fulfilling her promise.
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