Rondina raves about UST teammates despite Tigresses' PSL loss to Petron
MANILA, Philippines – The battle between Petron and Victoria Sports-UST in the Chooks To Go-Philippine Superliga Grand Prix late Tuesday evolved into a showdown between former and the present batch of University of Santo Tomas players.
Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Rhea Dimaculangan, Marivic Meneses and Carmela Tunay bannered the Blaze Spikers in hammering a 25-16, 25-14, 25-14 victory over the Tigresses led by Dimdim Pacres, Carla Sandoval, Caitlin Viray and Shannen Palec.
But there was one player who was the happiest seeing the young college girls stand their ground against full-grown women and their two imports — Sisi Rondina.
Set to provide the spark for UST in the upcoming University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) season, Rondina admitted that she was stunned with the improvement of her college teammates following their title-clinching performance in the recent University Games in Dumaguete City.
She said the level of game had increased as well as their maturity and discipline on both ends of the floor.
Pacres, the hefty power hitter from Cebu, delivered nine kills and an ace for 10 points and refused to get intimidated to the imposing presence of imports Hillary Hurley and Lindsay Stalzer as well as veterans Mika Reyes and Remy Palma at the net.
In one instance, Pacres’ attack was thwarted twice, but stormed back with a more solid, more powerful spike.
And her effort didn’t escape the eyes of Rondina.
“Napa-wow ako sa sobrang laki ng itinaas ng laro nila,” said Rondina, who engaged in a playful banter with Pacres — her classmate and good friend — at the net.
“Kitang-kita ang fighting spirit nila against Petron. Hindi sila sumusuko kahit malalaki ang imports namin at mga beterano ang mga kakampi ko.”
The UAAP will definitely be a rocky road for these Tigresses.
Reigning champion De La Salle University is also having as serious buildup as some of its players are playing for F2 Logistics while Ateneo de Manila University, Far Eastern University and National University are tipped to come up with a lot of surprises.
Rondina said the confidence they are gaining in competing in an elite tournament like the Grand Prix will definitely rub off and translate into something good come the UAAP season.
“Yung confidence na nakukuha namin dito, Malaking bagay kahit hindi kami magkakasama,” said Rondina. Sabi nga ni coach (Kungfu Reyes), sa paglalaro sa ganito kalaking liga namin makukuha yung kumpyansa sa laro na kahit magkaduguan na, lumalaban pa din kami.”
“Basta ibibigay namin ang lahat para sa UST.”