For the throne | Inquirer Sports

For the throne

Lady Eagles, Tigresses go all out in no-tomorrow match for UAAP women’s volleyball crown
By: - Reporter / @BLozadaINQ
/ 05:35 AM May 18, 2019

There will be tears—this much, Sisi Rondina is sure of. Tears of glory, tears of the vanquished. Tears for all the years that will finally come to an end.

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“Those tears … will get its real worth on our last day when the league is over, when we’re not playing with each other anymore,” said the graduating Rondina, the hyperactive league MVP who has been the spearhead of this spirited run to the Finals by University of Santo Tomas.

What team will shed which tears? That will be known on Saturday, when the Tigresses battle the top-seeded Ateneo Lady Eagles looking for the upset that will rewrite the narrative of UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball.

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The clash, which starts at 3 p.m., was forged through the will of Ateneo’s vaunted wall: Skipper Bea de Leon, Maddie Madayag and Kat Tolentino.

The three combined for 41 points as neither of them wanted their season to fade on the wrong end of a sweep.

“We just went in the huddle [at the start of Game 2] and told ourselves we’re not down, it’s [going to be] 1-1. Stay positive,” De Leon said.

Ateneo is expected to load the trio up on Rondina, the powerful spitfire on whose shoulders rests UST’s fate.

But the Lady Eagles may also have to contend with rookie Eya Laure, the young and spunky Tigress who hopes to buck a rolled ankle to lead UST to victory.

Laure hurt her left ankle when she stepped on Tolentino’s foot after a skirmish at the net and her brief departure—and gimpy return shortly—seemed to have sucked the fight out of the Tigresses.

There was concern on the gravity of the injury, on whether Laure could suit up for the knockout duel. It was a concern Laure did not take long to dismiss.

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“You can count on me to come back for Game 3,” Laure said even before the gloom of the Game 2 defeat had dissipated. “There’s pain, but I don’t really think of it that much.”

“I won’t quit that easily.”

Neither will Rondina: “I know that we will recover. [Game 2] was just a bad game for us.”

“We haven’t achieved our dream yet,” Laure added. We haven’t been defeated yet so in Game 3, we will give it our all.”

Madayag, however, is confident Ateneo won’t simply roll over against a rookie-laden UST squad: “We’re tough to beat if we play happy and follow coach’s instructions.”

Either way, only one team will emerge a worthy champion after Saturday’s showdown.

And, for sure, there will be tears.

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TAGS: Lady Eagles, Sisi Rondina, Tigresses, UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball, Volleyball
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