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Resilient Rondina powers through rough start to help UST past FEU

A lot was at stake in the University of Santo Tomas Golden Tigresses – Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws tiff on Saturday afternoon. A tight race for a Final Four spot was unfolding in Season 79, and the Golden Tigresses were in prime position to keep themselves in the hunt.

But skipper Cherry Rondina was struggling.

After a horrid start to the second set, Rondina was benched to start the third frame. Given a moment to collect her thoughts, the Cebuana managed to power through.

Subbed in late in the third frame, Rondina was pivotal in closing out the Lady Tamaraws. She scored seven of her 14 points in the limited time she got in the third and fourth set to lift UST.

Rondina said after the match that she has been doing her best to find herself in her new role as team captain. One of the most energetic players on the court, the two-time Beach Volleyball champion has needed to find the optimal level of spunk to compliment the team.

“Di ko agad naibalik yung sarili ko. Medyo, kanina, aminado ako na parang sobrang marshmallow ako ‘pag napagalitan and yun yung problema sa sarili ko talaga.

“I mean, ‘pag paulit-ulit ka nang nagkakamali, siyempre, paulit-ulit ka ring pagsasabihan, pero tanggap ko naman ‘yun,” the 20-year-old said.

“Ang akin lang is, hindi ko ma-fight yung akin talaga. Always naman ako sinasabihan ni coach na happy thoughts. Medyo, hindi ko maibalik yung sarili ko.”

The third-year open hitter admitted that she leaned on her teammates to get her game back.UAAP-79-WVB-FEU-vs.-UST-Cortez-7540 Resilient Rondina powers through rough start to help UST past FEU News UAAP UST Volleyball  - philippine sports news

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“Ayun na, sinasabi ni coach na, ‘Si, ikaw na yan, bumalik ka na.’ Diniretso ko na lang din. Parang lahat na nang about sa game, yun na yung inisip ko talaga. Yun nga, pagpunta namin, inisip namin is magtrabaho para manalo,” the 5-foot-5 spiker added.

“Nagpapasalamat din ako kay coach. As in, sobra. Coach, thank you talaga. Sabi niya, ‘Sumakit yung ulo ko kanina.’ Sabi ko, ‘Coach, thank you talaga.’ Buti na lang nagamot ko agad.”

Now at 4-3, Rondina is aware that the Tigresses can’t let up in the next round.

“Siyempre, pukpukan na sa training na naman. Yun nga, sabi ni coach na alagaan lang namin standing namin. Yun lang goal namin, alagaan, magtrabaho para manalo,” she declared.

Written By

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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