Relentless Rondina praises UST young guns in La Salle stunner
MANILA, Philippines – UST star Sisi Rondina is clearly making the most of her last year in the UAAP, and La Salle felt the pain up close and personal.
The fifth-year outside hitter powered the Golden Tigresses with 29 points off 25 attacks in their stunning four-set playoff win over the three-peat champion Lady Spikers to seize the 2nd seed and their first twice-to-beat semifinal advantage since Season 73.
However, all she could talk about was how brilliant her supporting cast performed, headed by super rookie Eya Laure.
“Ganoon pala ang feeling ng playoff,” Rondina mused in the post-game presser. “Masasabi ko lang before mag-start ang game hinuddle ko ang mga bata sabi ko, ‘Atin ‘to.’ Lahat ng positive sinabi ko na at sobrang responsive ng mga bata.”
(So that’s what a playoff feels like. All I can say is before the game started, I huddled the kids and I said, ‘This is ours.’ I said all the positive things I could and the kids were so responsive.)
“Nandoon talaga ang willingness nila na manalo lalong lalo na si Eya na nandiyan talaga para tumulong,” she continued. “We got each other’s back. Lumabas yun kanina.”
(Their willingness to win was really there, especially Eya who was there to help. We got each other’s back and it showed earlier.)
Laure backstopped Rondina’s MVP-level outing with 17 points off 15 attacks, outscoring La Salle’s own super rookie Jolina Dela Cruz, who led the Lady Spikers with 12.
As the team leader, Rondina also calmed down her teammates, including 8 rookies, after UST soared to a commanding 2-0 lead in front of a packed house in FilOil San Juan.
“We’re just focused lang talaga kasi anytime naman pwedeng mawala sa amin yung laro na yun,” she said. “Always kong ginagabayan ang mga bata. Nanalo [La Salle] ng isang set tapos sabi ko sa kanila na ‘Ilaro lang natin kung paano tayo nanalo sa first two sets.’ Responsive ang mga bata napakahusay.”
(We’re just really focused because we could lose our game anytime. I just always guide the kids. La Salle won a set and I told them, ‘Let’s just play the way we won the first two sets.’ The kids responded. They were brilliant.)
Come Sunday, May 5, the Tigresses will face the Lady Spikers anew, this time with their prized twice-to-beat privilege in tow.
“Aalagaan namin yung pagkakataon na yun and sabi ko nga ako na yung magli-lead sa teammates ko,” Rondina closed. “Lahat, lahat gagawin ko maitaas lang namin yung team. Alam ko naman nandiyan lahat sila.”
(We’ll take care of that opportunity and as I said I’d lead my teammates. I’ll do everything just to lift the team. I know they have my back.) – Rappler.com