As Finals set to begin, Tigresses stars Rondina, Laure receive top honors
Never underestimate the heart of a Tigress—no matter how small she may seem.
Sisi Rondina stood tallest among the stars of UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball as she will bring in some sort of momentum going into Saturday’s Game 1 of the best-of-three Finals against Ateneo.
Rondina is set to receive the MVP trophy of the women’s division after a stellar season that saw her dominate in offense with her power.
“Height doesn’t really matter in volleyball,” said the 5-foot-6 Rondina, who is the shortest among the last six players to win the MVP award. “What you need is a big heart, and … your effort in working to raise your team.”
“This is for those I’ve inspired, that even though we’re small, it shows that we can,” said Rondina, who finished with the highest scoring total this season with 259 points. “If you put your heart in every game, if you put your 101 percent to play for your team, then there won’t be any problems.”
Rondina will be a marked woman in Game 1 of the Finals at Smart Araneta Coliseum, and her power will be tested at the net by Ateneo’s lengthy core of Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino.
Rondina’s chief rival for the MVP trophy was teammate Eya Laure, who will be named Rookie of the Year.
“I’m happy because Ate Sisi deserved the MVP and you can really see it in her game,” said Laure, who was the league’s second best scorer with 230 points.
Besides, Laure has her eyes fixed on a shinier hardware.
“We really [are looking at] the bigger picture because we want the championship more than anything else,” Laure said.
To get that, the Tigresses need to hurdle Ateneo, the No. 1 squad all season. The heavily favored Lady Eagles have a deeper, more experienced roster that will try to negate the Tigresses’ spunk and hunger for validation.
Deanna Wong and Ponggay Gaston will power the Lady Eagles.