Few teams can boast of even matching the De La Salle University Lady Spikers in Ramil De Jesus’ 21 years at the helm.
There are a few teams led by transcendent stars that toppled the Lady Spikers. From FEU with Monica Aleta; UST with Ging Balse, Venus Bernal; and Aiza Maizo to Ateneo’s Alyssa Valdez, La Salle have had to vanquish a number of superstars to gain 11 UAAP titles.
In UAAP Season 81, another player, unlike any other star, has overcome La Salle.
When asked if the 5-foot-6 Rondina was comparable to past stars he had tried to solve, like Valdez and Balse, De Jesus was quick to affirm.
“Oo, kasi iba ‘yung leadership ni Sisi lalo sa loob ng court. Ang mindset niya parang, ‘Walang mahirap na bola sa akin basta itaas mo lang.’ Ganoon eh, ‘[Parang] ako na baahala gumawa ng paraan’,” De Jesus shared.
“Makikita mo rin ‘yung kagustuhan niya makuha ‘yung game kanina… Hindi lang sa game na ‘to, buong season na din para buhatin ‘yung team.”
De Jesus could not stop raving about Rondina’s leadership. If any opposing coach could appreciate Rondina, it’s definitely De Jesus, who also coached an undersized ace in Manilla Santos.
“Sa nilaro ng UST kanina, malayong-malayo doon sa elimination kasi akalain mo ‘yun, parang matured maglaro lahat. Kahit ‘yung mga rookie nila,” said De Jesus.
“Makikita mo very technical, hindi lang palo ng palo. Gawa na din ng leadership ni Rondina. ‘Yung mga rookie nila napapagalaw niya din kasi ganoong maglaro ‘yung leader nila,” he continued.
“Sunod sila lahat sa gusto ng leader nila.”