DID YOU KNOW? Rondina's first commitment was not to UST
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 21, 2020 11:23 AM
Sisi Rondina in other colors than black and gold? Sounds... Interesting.
University of Sto. Tomas will never ever forget Sisi Rondina.
The diminutive spiker will be a lifetime legend in Espana as she played much, much bigger than her size for each and every one of her five seasons as a Golden Tigress.
Be it on the sands, where she won four championships and MVPs, or the taraflex, where she won one MVP, her heart was, more often than not, more than enough to will the black and gold to wins.
Behind Rondina, UST was reminded that it is a powerhouse in women's volleyball - and she rejuvenated the school's long line of greats.
Without a doubt, she is now the standard for all Golden Tigresses to follow.
However, that all came oh so close to not coming true.
Apparently, the now-23-year-old had committed to a different UAAP school before she headed to UST. "Dapat po talaga, committed na ako sa isa pang UAAP school," she shared in The Prospects Pod last Friday.
Yes, Rondina wasn't supposed to be UST's next big thing.
Pressed further on which different school that was, though, her lips were sealed. "Ayaw ko na lang po i-mention, pero meron po. Hindi naman lahat, pero basta yon," she said.
Nonetheless, that wasn't meant to be and "The Cherry Bomb" became a Golden Tigress. "Medyo natagalan din po kasi. Medyo natagalan yung pag-update sa akin," she said.
And Espana can thank UST beach volleyball head coach Paul Jan Doloiras for all of that. As she put it, "Itong si coach Dolo, update nang update sa akin kahit hindi ko naman siya pinapansin china-chat. Ang ginawa ni coach, binigyan ako ng ticket, sabi niya tour lang ng mga five days sa Manila."
She then continued, "Ako naman, summer yun e so wala rin akong ginagawa. Binigyan nila ako ng ticket tsaka ng dorm. Pero ang galing ni coach, may USTET (UST Entrance Test) din pala nun so wala akong magagawa."
Of course, Rondina passed the USTET - and not long after, UST itself passed her standards. "Nag-take na nga ako and then pagkauwi namin dito, sabi ko kay papa, 'Pa, okay yung UST, maganda.' Sabi naman niya, 'Papuntahin mo muna yung coach mo dito. Manligaw muna sa akin,'" she shared.
Coach Dolo did just that. "Pumunta si coach dito, niligawan si papa and then ayun, parang yung responsibilidad ni papa, pinasa niya kay coach. Nagtuloy-tuloy na," the proud Cebuano said.
And in the end, Sisi Rondina is a Thomasian through and through.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.