Rondina sees fresh start in national team tryouts after UAAP heartbreak
Cherry Rondina has long established herself as one of the most fun-loving players in the UAAP, but that happiness vanished when University of Santo Tomas failed to enter the Final Four for the third time in four seasons.
The 21-year-old Golden Tigress was a clear picture of grief as she cried on the court of Blue Eagle Gym on Saturday when UST lost to Adamson University, 25-6, 25-23, 25-23 to finish the season with a disappointing 4-10 record.
And it took almost four days for Rondina to face the public with her trademark cheerfulness.
Rondina is one of the 34 women head coach Ramil De Jesus invited for the tryouts of the Philippine National Women’s Volleyball Team.
And on Wednesday, Rondina once more showed the happiness that made her such an endearing figure to the volleyball community.
“I think this is one way of venting out my frustrations after we missed the Final Four,” said Rondina in Filipino at Arellano University. “That’s in the past, this is a new start for my volleyball career.”
“This is a new opportunity, and I’m just showing these guys how I play.”
Rondina showed up in the first day of the tryouts on April 11 but left early with UST head coach Kung Fu Reyes to attend to her commitment to the Golden Tigresses, but the 5-foot-6 outside hitter made up for lost time as she got uncorked in the two scrimmages of the second day.
As if she was wearing her UST jersey, Rondina catapulted herself into several crosscourt kills and back row attacks that intimidated those who were on the other side of her net.
Players like Mary Joy Baron, who scored a block on Rondina, Dawn Macandili, Kath Arado, and Cha Cruz-Behag among others were on the receiving end of Rondina’s constant energy.
“I’m just happy that I’m able to showcase my limited knowledge on volleyball,” said Rondina who humbled herself. “I hope they were satisfied with my performance.”
“And I’m glad that I shared the floor with the other players and I’m just pushing myself so I can match up with them. At first I was a bit shy, but later on I just showed the real me and how I play.”