MVP mode: Rondina laser-focused in straight-set drubbing of Ateneo
MANILA, Philippines – Before Game 1 of the UAAP Finals against the Ateneo Lady Eagles and the UST Golden Tigresses, reports flew around saying that Sisi Rondina was set to receive the Season 81 MVP award after leading their program to their first finals in 8 years.
However, before the rumors even got official, the graduating open spiker already proved why she deserved to win the league’s highest individual honor.
In just 3 sets of UST repeatedly humiliating top-seeded Ateneo, the 5-foot-6 Rondina literally soared above the rest and tallied 23 points on 20 attacks, 2 blocks and an ace. (READ: UST stuns Ateneo in straight sets, nears 1st title in a decade)
In the post-game presser, the league’s Best Scorer awardee was all smiles and even looked ready to play a few more sets.
“Sobrang focused lang talaga ako, wala kaming ibang inisip,” she said. “Laro lang talaga, kung ano galaw ko, ano receive ko, service ko.”
(I was so focused and we didn’t think of anything else. We just played with how I moved, how I received, how I served.)
“Parang muscle memory na lang siguro to,” she continued. “Di ko rin naman agad sinasabi na maganda laro ko pero sinabi ko sa mga bata.”
(I think this is like muscle memory. I didn’t immediately say that my game was nice but I told the kids that.)
Indeed, Rondina’s winning aura seemingly infected the rookie-laden Tigresses as shoo-in Rookie of the Year Eya Laure chipped in 11 points in her UAAP Finals debut while Ysa Jimenez added 6 markers in crucial runs.
“Pinapakita ko sa mga bata attitude ko na kailangan nating manalo,” Rondina said. “Inaasam-asam na namin ‘to. Ang sarap sa feeling na ganito, sabay-sabay na tayong manalo at sabay-sabay ngumiti pagkatapos ng araw na ‘to.”
(I just showed the kids my winning attitude. We wanted this so much. It’s a great feeling that we’re winning together and smiling together after this day.)
Now with a lot of momentum on their side, the Tigresses roar ahead within a game of winning it all. They now have a chance to seal their place in history with one more win on Wednesday, May 15, at the Mall of Asia Arena. – Rappler.com