Cherry Rondina gets confidence boost from younger teammates as UST looks to recover
MANILA, Philippines—Cherry Rondina had a whirlwind of a Wednesday that started off with an emotional celebration and ended in a disappointing exit.
University of Santo Tomas’ captain accepted her trophies for the MVP and 2nd Best Outside Hitter while her family joined her during the quick celebration at Mall of Asia Arena just before the start of Game 2 of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball finals.
Rondina, however, ended the day walking out of the venue deafeated after the Golden Tigresses missed a chance to wrap up the series and to Ateneo in four sets, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15 to drag the series into a do-or-die.
“I know that we will recover. Today was just a bad game for us,” said Rondina in Filipino. “I think that we fought today, although we had lots of lapses but I’m thankful because my teammates said ‘Ate, we’ll bounce back’, those little things.”
“Their little actions have a lot of impact, especially when you hear them from your younger teammates.”
Rondina had a hard time converting on her spike attempts, only going for 18-of-61 in her attacks. But she still had a respectable performance with three kill blocks to finish with 22 total points.
UST also suffered a major blow during Game 2 when Rookie of the Year Eya Laure rolled her left ankle after landing on Kat Tolentino’s right foot at the start of the third set.
Although Laure was able to get back in the later part of the frame, she eventually left the match near the end of the fourth set due to the pain.
Rondina added that she told her teammates to reserve the tears after Game 3, which would ultimately signify the end of the season for both UST and Ateneo.
“I told them ‘those tears are not worth it because it will get its real worth on our last day when the league is over, when we’re not playing with each other anymore,” said Rondina, who’s on her final year with UST.
“We won’t give up, we haven’t achieved our dream yet. We haven’t been defeated yet so come Game 3 we will give it our all.”
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