Rondina, Bagunas to be feted as top PH spikers
MANILA, Philippines – From the local scene to the international stage, Cherry "Sisi" Rondina and Bryan Bagunas owned the year of 2019.
Rondina and Bagunas both won MVP honors in the UAAP for UST and NU, respectively, after leading their schools to the finals all the while clinching a medal apiece for the country in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
For their impressive feats, the two will be recognized by the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) as Ms and Mr Volleyball in the SMC-PSA Annual Awards Night at the Manila Hotel on March 6.
Rondina capped her UAAP stint with two MVP awards in her final year after dominating Season 81 in the indoor and beach volleyball tournaments.
She teamed up with Baby Love Barbon to win her fourth beach volleyball title before helping UST end an eight-year finals drought as they advanced to the championship round in Season 81.
By the end of the season, Rondina was named UAAP Athlete of the Year in collegiate team sports, the only female bet to win the award.
She then carried her winning ways to the SEA Games, where she helped the women's beach volleyball team composed of Bernadeth Pons, Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez notch a bronze medal.
Their bronze-medal finish halted the Philippines' 14-year medal drought in the sport.
Rondina is the latest to be recognized with the Ms Volleyball honor given in the past to Alyssa Valdez thrice, Mika Reyes, and Dawn Macandili.
Bagunas, who gets the nod for the Mr Volleyball award after two-time winner Marck Espejo, was just as brilliant.
He became the first NU player in the Final Four era to win a UAAP MVP – a worthy successor to Ateneo's Espejo, who won the award in 5 straight seasons.
Bagunas then conspired with Espejo as they keyed the country to a historic silver medal in men's volleyball in the SEA Games.
Although the team fell short of the grand prize, their medal glittered like gold given it was the Philippines' best finish in men's volleyball in the biennial meet. – Rappler.com