In the bronze medal match of the 2019 PSL All-Filipino Conference on Saturday, Sisi Rondina was on a level of her own.
Right from the get-go, the 5-foot-6 dynamo of Petron had her lethal arsenal on full display. She fired a myriad of attacks, scaling the Santiago siblings and the rest of the Foton defenders, who all tried to mount a wall that would stymie her.
However, approaching the critical juncture of the match, muscle cramps started to hamper the fleet-footed spiker.
But in order to shake off her cramp-stricken condition, Rondina reminded herself that facing adversity is not foreign for her.
“Kanina nagcra-cramps na ako, inisip ko lang yung UAAP days ko noong sa FEU na nagca-cramps na yung hita ko pero sabi ko, ‘Kaya ‘to, kaya ‘to,” recalled Rondina, citing the four-set loss she and her Golden Tigresses suffered against FEU in the UAAP Season 81 Women’s Volleyball tournament.
She also drew strength and motivation from her sisters-in-arms and the rest of the believers who trooped Petron’s bench.
“Tinitingnan ko yung bawat isa sa bench. Si Coach [Shaq Delos Santos], lahat ng teammates at mga ates na nagbibigay ng pieces of advice,” the product of UST recounted. “Sabi ko, wala ‘to, wala ‘to.
“Wala akong inisip kanina kun’di maglaro lang talaga sa lahat ng makakaya ko.”
As she steeled her resolve to play through fatigue, Rondina continued with her hard-hitting ways. And at the end of the epic five-setter, Foton had no answer for the proud daughter of Cebu.
Rondina erupted for 33 points, built on 30 attacks and two blocks. But none were bigger than the five differential hits she nailed in the decider that finished off the Tornadoes and sealed bronze for Petron.
“Nilalabas ko lahat ng mga hinanakit since ‘di nga kami nakapasok sa Finals,” she disclosed.
“I’m thankful. We’re thankful.”
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