Rondina earns Valdez's admiration in valiant stand for UST
Mark Escarlote on Feb 07, 2016 06:32 PM
She means business kapag nasa loob siya ng court --- Alyssa Valdez on UST's Cherry Rondina
Cherry Rondina was all over the place once again for the University of Sto. Tomas.
In scoring, attacks, blocks, service aces and even on the defensive end diving for the ball.
Her efforts though were put into naught as the Tigresses dropped their second straight game, this time against the powerhouse back-to-back champion Ateneo de Manila.
Rondina fell short of carrying the Espana-based squad past the Lady Eagles, 22-25, 20-25, 25-21, 15-25, Sunday to remain winless in the 78th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament. But her demeanor in battle earned the admiration of Queen Eagle and reigning two-time Most Valuable Player Alyssa Valdez.
“Fighter talaga e,” said Valdez of the sophomore player from Cebu with a peculiar nickname “Sisi”.
Rondina, who told reporters that her nickname was derived from the Bisayan word for oyster which she loves to eat, finished with 21 points coming from 15 kills, three kill blocks she got from Valdez, Bea De Leon and Maddie Madayag, and three service winners with four digs.
Her total output was nine points short of her career-high in a five-set loss over Adamson last Wednesday in UST’s season opener.
The graduating Valdez said that she was not surprised with Rondina’s performance.
“Sa beach volleyball pa lang kapag nakakalaban mo ‘yun (palaban talaga),” added Valdez of the Season 77 UAAP beach volleyball champion.
“She means business kapag nasa loob siya ng court wala siyang ibang iisipin. And that killer’s instinct that she has, Oh my God! Super layo talaga ng mararating.”
Valdez even joked that the diminutive hitter – standing 5-foot-6 – doesn’t need the ceiling to dominate the game.
“Even if she doesn’t have that height that like everyone (wanted) di ba? Most of the players naman ngayon ‘yung height talaga is an advantage, ‘di naman ‘yata kailangan ni Rondina ng height?”
Valdez also praised Rondina’s versatility and all-around game.
“Pero siyempre it takes a lot of effort from her to get the point, the jump and I mean she helps the team talaga not only in offense, na kahit maliit, may blocking, may depensa, may first ball. Ano pang hahanapin mo sa isang player?” she said.
“Sobrang bait pa ng bata, sobrang hard working and ‘yan ang hinahanap ng mga coaches eh. (‘Yung) lalaban at lalaban lang.”
But even with the admiration of arguably the most popular local volleyball player, Rondina is far from satisfied with her game.
“Hindi po talaga ako satisfied kasi gusto ko pong makuha ‘yung resulta ng kung ano ang nilalaro namin,” said Rondina.
All Rondina wants is to save the Tigresses from the cellar.
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