Like the San Miguel Corporation teams in the PBA, the Petron Blaze Spikers also boast incredible depth.
The Petron Blaze Spikers actually have a starting six good enough to afford the high-scoring Cherry Rondina come off the bench.
But in times of need, Petron head coach Shaq Delos Santos knows he can always throw Rondina into a match and immediately have the momentum swing.
When Petron were in trouble early against the Smart Giga Hitters in the 2018 Chooks to Go-Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Conference, Delos Santos broke the emergency glass.
The 22-year-old spitfire spiker came in the first set and contributed both on offense and defense, allowing the Blaze Spikers to escape the first set. From there, Petron found their groove and handed Smart their first loss.
In two seasons of playing for Petron, Rondina has learned how to instantly catch fire and bring the Blaze Spikers back in matches.
“Ako naman, ‘pag binunot ako, hindi ko pinapabayaan ‘yung pagkakataon na binigay sa akin ni coach. Patience lang, wait for my time,” the 5-foot-6 attacker said after tallying nine points against the Giga Hitters.
“Laro lang talaga, lalabas ko ‘yung usual kong ginagawa.”
Still, it’s a challenge for Rondina, trying to warm up after spending a lot of time on the bench.
She gets over it by thinking of her family in Cebu as they make sure to tune in to each of her matches.
“For me naman, mahirap talaga (kapag galing sa bench), pero hindi ko na lang pinapakita. Wala na akong iniisip na iba,” the native of Compostela, Cebu shared.
“‘Pag pumapasok ako sa court, iniisip ko na lang na nanunuod ‘yung family ko. Kailangan mapakita ko na maganda ‘yung galaw ko para worth it ‘yung panunuod nila.”
Petron will next face fellow 3-0 squad F2 Logistics Cargo Movers on Saturday at the Alonte Sports Arena in Biñan. When asked about another chapter in their rivalry, Rondina encapsulated just how close the Petron-F2 Logistics matches have been for the past two years.
“Bilog ‘yung bola, laban lang. Kilala mo naman ako, hindi susuko hangga’t hindi pa nakaka-three sets ‘yung kalaban.”
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