Rondina leads UST’s return to UAAP Final Four
With University of Santo Tomas on the verge of returning to the Final Four after four years, skipper Cherry Rondina asserted her authority and told the rest of the Golden Tigresses a few choice words.
“This game is ours.”
UST did own the big moment as it returned to the semifinals after foiling National University in five sets, 20-25, 19-25, 25-20, 25-21, 25-12, and during the game Rondina imposed herself as the team’s undisputed leader.
With UST falling in the first two sets, and NU superstar Jaja Santiago firing on all cylinders, Rondina told her team she will not let the year end without them challenging for the title.
“I gathered them in a huddle, and I told them to think about our goal for the team, all the sacrifices, the hard work,” said Rondina Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum. “I was the first one to tell them that, I told them that this game was ours.”
Rondina then backed up her words with stellar play down the stretch.
Holding fort against the Lady Bulldogs in the fifth set, Rondina finished off a combo play to give her team a 10-7 lead.
UST then replicated the same play with Rondina capping off the trick as Ria Meneses played bait to give UST a 12-8 edge.
Rondina then put the Golden Tigresses at match point, 14-12, before she gave way to Dimdim Pacres, who played closer for UST.
“I asserted my authority and it always starts with yourself, that’s why I was the first one to say that we will win,” said Rondina who had 22 points in the game. “I did that because as the leader I want to lead them.”