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Sisi Rondina played without pressure in the biggest game of her career

Usually, Sisi Rondina only gets two to four hours of sleep.

Since her fourth year, the UST team captain has lived alone in her own dormitory, away from her teammates and friends in the athletes’ dorm. She would spend hours watching film of her highlights or her opponents, trying to visualize the match and every doing she was going to do before it happened.

Before their playoff for a twice-to-beat advantage on Wednesday afternoon, the 22-year-old Cebuana got nine hours of sleep. Rondina was surprised and took it as a premonition of what was to come.

She later experienced an unusual but welcome calm.

In the biggest match of her career, Rondina exploded for 29 points, leading UST’s triumph over three-time defending champions De La Salle University Lady Spikers and picking up the second seed in the Final Four.

UAAP-81-Volleyball-DLSU-vs.-UST-Rondina-6936 Sisi Rondina played without pressure in the biggest game of her career News UAAP UST Volleyball  - philippine sports news

“Na-shock ako na nine hours tulog ko kagabi, kumpleto.

Usually, four hours lang, two hours. Pero na-realize ko na ‘yung routine ko and nasa isip ko talaga ‘yun. Thesis ko ‘yun eh, imagery. Lagi naming ginagawa ‘yun,” said Rondina.

Asked whether she visualized her big game, Rondina shared that she counted on her teammates to provide support.

“Anytime, sabi ko sa teammates ko, pwede tayong matalo, pero kailangan natin magtrabaho. Kung gusto nating masaya tayo, alam na kung anong result ‘yung kailangan natin,” the four-time UAAP beach volleyball champion recalled.

“Ang maganda kasi lahat kami nagtrabaho. ‘Yung tipong wala ka ng hininga kasi sobrang taas ng pressure. Pinili namin magtiwala at kumapit. Wala na akong ibang inisip, walang ibang taong nasa isip ko kundi ako pati teammates ko.”

The Tigresses have their best shot at making the UAAP Finals for the first time since Season 73. And so, Rondina promises a continued level of intensity.

#ReadMore  Sisi Rondina urges Choco Mucho to focus on present ahead of Finals rematch

“Kailangan eh. Hindi puwedeng ako ‘yung mawala kasi mga bata ‘yung kasama ko. Ako ‘yung team captain so kailangan ko mag-show na captain pa lang, ganito na ‘yung galaw,” said Rondina.

“Ang maganda kasi alam na namin, sa mata pa lang. Pinili lang talaga namin manalo. Anything, whatever it takes, walang mawawala sa atin. Lagi akong nagpapa-huddle din kanina. Responsive din kasi ‘yung mga bata.”

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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