UAAP Season 82: Rondina’s influence visible in current crop of Tigresses
Mark Escarlote on Mar 10, 2020 04:00 PM
(Photo: Arvin Lim)
Sisi Rondina’s dedication to step up and be a leader obviously rubbed off on her former University of Sto. Tomas teammates.
The holdovers from last year’s runner-up squad especially sophomore Eya Laure are emulating the same passion and heart that the reigning Most Valuable Player displayed throughout her career and in the Tigresses’ campaign in the UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.
UST plunged into an early test of character after losing its opening game via upset at the hands of National University.
But the Tigresses were quick to lick their wounds as they bounced back mightily with a straight sets demolition of Far Eastern University on Sunday.
Laure, the Season 81 Rookie of the Year, stepped up for the Espana-based squad and played the leader’s role in rallying UST to a rousing victory.
“Siguro, tanggap ko naman siya [na pagiging leader] kasi si Ate Sisi pa lang, kung paano ako minold last year na di pwede na siya lang,” said Laure, who backed Rondina last season in carrying UST back to the Finals after eight years.
“Kailangan mahatak niya kami - at nahatak niya nga kami - at nadamay niya kami sa pagiging leader niya,” added the national team member. “Parang lahat gusto na maging leader na isang malaking bagay sa isang team.”
Eya Laure also credited UST seniors like returning players Tin Francisco and EJ Laure, setter Alina Bicar and Caitlyn Viray for doing their part for the team.
“Ngayon, makikita mo eh, yung mga seniors ko pa rin eh. Kumbaga ‘sige ate, tutulungan ko rin kayo hangga’t kayo kong i-lead to. Nandito lang ako,’” said Laure.
Rondina, who is currently on an indoor volleyball hiatus to concentrate on beach volleyball, is proud of the current Tigresses performance so far.
“Para sa mga babies ko na naglalaro sa UAAP ngayon, I’m pretty sure naman na lalaban at lalaban sila,” said Rondina, who was feted as Miss Volleyball during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Annual Awards recently. “Kahit wala na ‘yung mga seniors nila alam ko na pare-pareho lang kami ng nilalaruan and alam ko na mas aktibo sila ngayon and mas palaban sila. Kasi mas madami silang nakuhang experience eh.”
Rondina knows that UST’s journey, just like last year, won’t be an easy one, but the former Queen Tigress has strong faith that the squad can hurdle any obstacle if they put their hearts into one common goal.
“Siyempre yung sabi ko sa kanila na mahalin nila ang UST the way I love UST and syempre yung pagiging palaban,” she said. “Sabi nga ni Eya, kapag nasusugatan ang tigre lalaban at lalaban sa huli. So sana madala hanggang matapos yung season.”
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