A great leader is judged by one’s actions and examples.
Sisi Rondina led by the biggest example, as she fulfilled her promise of bringing University of Sto. Tomas to greater heights in her swan song.
The graduating hitter rallied the Tigresses back into the Final Four for the second time in her storied five-year career with a superb showing in UST’s two outings. Both were enough to earn Rondina the nod for her first-ever Chooks To Go-Collegiate Press Corps UAAP Player of the Week.
The 22-year-old open spiker exploded for 20 points on Wednesday in the Tigresses’ 25-21, 25-12, 26-24, win over the UP Lady Maroons. The win put UST in a good position for a return stint in the Final Four after missing the cut last year.
Rondina hammered 17 of those points off attacks and added 15 digs and eight excellent receptions.
The four-time beach volleyball champion then picked up from she left off four days after. She turned in a 21-point performance when the Tigresses submitted the FEU Lady Tamaraws, 25-23, 25-18, 25-23, to validate their entry in the Final Four.
Rondina filled the stat sheet with 17 spikes, three aces, and a kill block while showing her prowess in floor defense with 15 digs and 12 excellent receptions in the victory that gave Tigers a chance to vie for a semis twice-to-beat advantage.
Still, the Queen Tigress downplayed her impressive efforts in UST’s romp and was quick to credit her teammates.
“Ang maganda kasi, sobrang responsible ng mga bata. Nakikinig sila at nagtutulungan kami kaya ito ang bunga ng lahat ng set plays namin, lumalabas,” said Rondina.
“Isa lang masasabi ko kanina, sobrang focused ‘yung paglaro namin kanina.”
The Tigresses had actually entered the match already assured of a semis seat after the also-ran NU Lady Bulldogs knocked the Lady Maroons from the Final Four contention. Still, it didn’t distract Rondina and the rest of UST from building momentum heading into the postseason wars.
UST (9-4) can snatch a semis advantage if they hurdle the Lady Bulldogs on April 27, and if three-time defending champions DLSU Lady Spikers (9-3) drop all their remaining games. UST can also force a playoff for a Final Four edge if they win their last game and the Lady Spikers lose one of their last two outings.
“Sabi ko nga na nangangarap akong umabot sa championship. Lagi kong ire-remind sa kanila ‘yun.
“Gagawin ko ang mga kailangang gawin para ipakita na gusto kong maglaro para sa UST, mag-payoff ang mga paghihirap namin, and kailangan kong lagyan ng actions ‘yan. ‘Yun lang ang gagawin ko,” Rondina said.
Rondina edged out rookie Princess Robles of NU, DLSU freshman Jolina Dela Cruz, and University of the East’s Judith Abil and Mean Mendrez for the weekly honors given by online, tabloid and broadsheet scribes covering the beat.
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