Rondina tells Tigresses: ‘Don’t make me famous, make UST famous’
University of Santo Tomas was on the brink of missing the Final Four for the second time in three years, but that was before its emotional leader stepped in.
Cherry Rondina took it upon herself to assemble her team before the Golden Tigresses faced University of the Philippines in the UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball tournament, and “Cherry Bomb” gave one direct order.
“Before the game I talked to my teammates, actually I ordered them to assemble,” said Rondina in Filipino Saturday at Filoil Flying V Centre.
“I told them ‘don’t make me famous, don’t you make Sisi alone famous, I want the name of our school to be famous, to be the focus.’”
And Rondina’s pre-game pep talk did the trick as UST snapped its five-game losing streak, upending the Lady Maroons in four sets, 19-25, 30-28, 25-20, 25-16.
Rondina was still a force with 25 points but she got more than adequate support from rookie Milena Alessandrini, who finished with 20 points.
The Golden Tigresses to 3-7 record as they remained in Final Four contention.
Rondina, who averaged 19.7 points a game prior to facing UP, also took the high road instead of blaming her teammates for their woes she was the one who apologized for UST’s losses.
“I was the one who apologized because I know that I’ve been playing badly for the past games,” said Rondina. “I said that we will come back and we just have to keep the faith.”
Rondina’s humility also struck a chord with her head coach Kung Fu Reyes who praised his star for staying humble despite leading the team, and the league, in offensive output.
“What Sisi did, she went down to her teammates level so they can reach her,” said Reyes in Filipino. “Sisi can’t do this by herself, and that’s what I’ve been reminding the team that we need six or eight players to contribute.”