Sisi Rondina admitted that the ride she and Bernadeth Pons had in the 30th Southeast Asian Games made them decide to focus on beach volleyball.
The SiPons tandem, together with the duo of Dzi Gervacio and Dij Rodriguez, copped bronze to give the Philippines its first medal in the said event since 2005.
“Nung pagkasuot ko ng medal, doon ka na-feel na parang gusto ko pa mas umangat pa talaga,” Rondina told The Prospects Pod, presented by SMART and Cocolife.
“Gusto namin ni Pons na umangat pa. Gusto namin magka-points as professional beach volleyball players dito sa Pilipinas.”
Rondina and Pons went 3-3 in the SEA Games, with their losses coming at the hands of powerhouses Thailand and Indonesia, and Malaysia.
For Rondina, she and Pons felt that experience was the only thing separating them from the other teams, hence their decision.
“Gusto namin maka-gain pa ng experience. Kasi sa SEA Games, dikit lang talaga ‘yung mga laban namin and then ayun lang, talo kami sa experience,” the 5-foot-6 hitter said.
“Kasi ‘yung mga nakalaban namin, nagwo-World Tour. Kami hanggang dito lang.”
With this, Rondina and Pons are set to join various Beach Volleyball Republic tilts, as well as FIVB tournaments — once the pandemic is done, of course.
And that will give them the exposure they need in their ultimate goal of giving the country success in the sport.
“Pangarap namin na magka-gold talaga. Kahit anong liga pa ‘yan. Iba kasi talaga ‘yung laro kapag marami ka ng experience na dala-dala,” she said.
Rondina, though, made it clear that she and Pons aren’t turning their backs to indoor volleyball. The two last played for the Petron Blaze Spikers in the Philippine Superliga.
“Hindi naman sa sinasabi kong iiwanan na ‘yung indoor, but nagbago po talaga nung nag-bronze medalist po kami sa SEA Games,” she said.
“Sobrang sarap sa feeling, lalong lalo na SEA Games yung pinag-uusapan, Pilipinas ang dala. Isang karangalan talaga na masaksihan ng mga Pilipino sinuotan ka ng medalya.
“Ang sarap din sa feeling na lahat ng pagod niyo, pagbilad sa araw, sakripisyo, worth it talaga,” she furthered.
Rondina and Pons are two of the finest beach spikers in the country today, having lorded over the PSL Beach Volleyball Challenge in 2017 and 2018.
They would continue their winning ways in 2019, as they swept their way to the Rebisco Beach Volleyball International Open title.
It was also last year when they saw action in the FIVB 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Boracay Open, where they made it to the quarterfinals.
Rondina and Pons already made a mark in the sands during their years in the UAAP playing for UST and FEU, respectively. The two vied for the gold medal twice in their collegiate careers, with Rondina coming out on top on both occasions.
The proud daughter of Cebu led the Golden Tigresses to four UAAP beach volley titles, and she won MVP honors in all those successful runs.