Sisi Rondina’s parents arrived from Cebu on Tuesday afternoon, thanks to help coming from well-meaning University of Santo Tomas alumni whom the prolific volleyball superstar has put on Cloud 9.
Arnold and Alona Rondina will be at ringside on Wednesday, when their bubbly, high-leaping daughter—their breadwinner—chases the hardware she set out for ever since the start of Season 81’s UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
It will be the culmination of all the hard work she has put in on the court—the story of her life.
Sisi and the Tigresses gun for the championship at 4 p.m. against Ateneo at Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay, with a win ending a nine-year wait and putting a cherry on top of all of Rondina’s accomplishments.
Arnold, a driver, and Alona, a housewife, have nothing but praise for their daughter, who applies hard work into everything she does—in life and in her volleyball career.
“She is truly God’s gift to us,” Alona told Inquirer.net in Filipino while watching Sisi practice with the team at UST.
“She is not only a blessing to us, but to her siblings as well, as she was able to send them all to school [because of volleyball],” Arnold added.
“Before, the roof of our house was only made of nipa straws,” the proud father said as the Rondina family is now sheltered in a decent structure it could call its own—thanks to Sisi.
Rondina has worked her guts out the entire season to get UST to where it is now, especially after the season-ending leg injury to Milena Alessandrini early in the tournament.
“You have to do it with effort. You just can’t do something for the sake of doing it. And before I arrived here I told myself, ‘We won’t ever experience hardship ever again.’”
Ever since the season began, Sisi has been very vocal about getting the perfect graduation present. And she’s worked very hard for it, leading UST to two shots at nailing that gift for her.
She will be named MVP before the first serve of Game 2 of the best-of-three series, something which will pale in comparison to what she really wants.
A 25-17, 25-16, 25-20 win over the Lady Eagles last Saturday pushed the Tigresses to within their first crown since Season 72 and also snapped a 15-game losing spell against Ateneo.
Ateneo, with a star-studded crew led by Kat Tolentino and defensive whiz Maddie Madayag, will be looking to take this series to a deciding game.
And the Lady Eagles know the woman they need to stop. —BONG LOZADA, INQUIRER.NET
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