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Cherry Rondina, Jessie Lacuna hailed as top UAAP athletes

Two of the greatest athletes to ever step foot in the UAAP were given the league’s top honor in their final years.

UST Women’s Volleyball Team’s Cherry Rondina and Ateneo FAST’s Jessie Lacuna were crowned as the UAAP Season 81 Athlete of the Year in Team and Individual sports, respectively.

In her five years in the UAAP, Rondina won four UAAP championships in the beach volleyball scene.

To cap off her illustrious UST career, the 5-foot-6 spiker won two of her five MVP awards on both courts. She becomes the first student-athlete since Wendy Semana to win both the top individual awards in both indoor and beach volleyball.

Lacuna, a two-time Olympian, dominated the UAAP, leading Ateneo to five men’s swimming championships.

He won 35 gold medals and four MVP plums. This is his second Athlete of the Year crown with his first coming in Season 78.

It was a double-celebration for UST, as the school won their third straight General Championship, their 42nd overall.

UST finished with 279 points, winning championships in Women’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s Beach Volleyball, Men’s Table Tennis, Women’s Table Tennis, Men’s Judo, and Women’s Judo.

La Salle was second with 260 points, while Ateneo and UP ended up at co-third with 237 points.

Top student scholars from each of the eight universities were also feted.

Adamson’s Jed Colonia (Basketball), Ateneo’s Reagan Gavino (Swimming), DLSU’s Jamica Arribas (Softball), FEU’s Josefa Ligmayo (Track and Field), NU’s Jack Animam (Volleyball), UE’s Nicole Cortey (Fencing), UST’s Mae Bernal (Fencing), and UP’s Nicole Oliva (Taekwondo) were part of the honor roll.

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