Graduating Rondina tells Tigresses: 'Love UST the way I love UST'
MANILA, Philippines – Sisi Rondina left her all on the volleyball stage for the University of Santo Tomas, and she wants the remaining Golden Tigresses to do the same for her beloved school.
Rondina's collegiate career ended in heartbreak as the Tigresses failed to recapture the UAAP women's volleyball crown against the Ateneo Lady Eagles in a hard-fought three-game finals series.
But with UST already reaching great heights, the graduating star said the team should stay the course.
"Sabi ko nga, 'Love UST the way I love UST.' Panindigan nila kung saan sila ngayon and commit lang. Dapat committed lang sa lahat," Rondina said after UST was swept by Ateneo in the do-or-die Game 3 on Saturday, May 18.
(I told them to love UST the way I love UST. They should be totally committed to the team because this is the path that they chose.)
Although she could not cap off her UAAP career with the biggest prize, Rondina has claimed elite status by bagging the Season 81 MVP award.
And what made it sweeter for Rondina was that her family from Cebu was able to watch her play live.
"I'm thankful kasi it's my first time na ma-award-an in that award na kumpleto 'yung pamilya ko and 'yun na lang nagma-matter sa akin," she said.
(I'm thankful because that's the first time that my entire family witnessed something like that. That's what matters to me the most.)
If Rondina had it her way, though, she would rather not leave UST now.
"Dapat 10 years na lang 'yung playing years," she joked.
(They should extend the playing years in the UAAP to 10.)
Meanwhile, Rica Rivera – another graduating Tigress – expressed gratitude for the outpouring of support from the UST community.
"Sobrang sarap ulit makita 'yung Golden Sea na hinahanap namin palagi, na pangarap namin ibalik ulit. So ito na 'yun, sana magtuloy-tuloy pa lalo," she said.
(It's heartwarming to see the Golden Sea because it's what we've always been dreaming of bringing back. I hope it continues.)
Rivera also believes the Tigresses can bounce back next season and end their championship drought.
"Confident kami kasi na-experience na nila 'yung kung paano maglaro ang nasa championship and dalawa lang kami ni Sisi na nawala," she said.
(We're confident that they can finally grab the title next year because they already have experience in playing in the finals, plus it's only me and Sisi who will leave.) – Juro Morilla/Rappler.com