Sisi Rondina on her legacy: I gave my all for UST
MANILA, Philippines—Cherry Rondina may not have brought the title to University of Santo Tomas, but all she wants is to be remembered as someone who gave her heart to the school that became her second home.
Rondina’s final game for UST ended in heartbreaking fashion with the Golden Tigresses losing to Ateneo, 25-17, 25-22, 25-22, in Game 3 of the UAAP Seaon 81 women’s volleyball finals.
Rondina won the Best Scorer award, a 2nd Best Outside Hitter plum, and an MVP trophy but the championship remained elusive.
“When someone says ‘Sisi Rondina’ I just want them to remember me as someone who gave it her all for UST, someone that didn’t let UST be put to shame,” said Rondina in Filipino Saturday at Mall of Asia Arena.
“I still don’t want to let go of UST, I love UST. I will be graduating this June and I didn’t even know that my love and commitment for UST would be this much.”
Rondina finished with 18 points in her final game for UST—a match that ultimately broke her heart in countless little pieces.
UST were still at it in the third set with Rondina tying it at 22 before Maddie Madayag scored two straight kills for the Lady Eagles’ 24-22 lead.
Kat Tolentino’s serve then, kickstarted the last 14 seconds of Rondina’s collegiate career.
Rondina had two chances of extending the match but her attempts were both stifled at the net leading to a Jules Samonte kill that gave Ateneo its third title and the end to the Golden Tigresses’ spirited finals run.
“When that ball got hit and the moment our opponents scored their final point, I knew my time as a Golden Tigress has come to an end,” said Rondina. “I don’t want to leave, I really don’t want to. I want to leave the Golden Tigresses as a champion.”
Rondina added that what UST has done, a 10-4 finish in the eliminations and a first finals appearance in eight years, was an unforgettable moment for her.
The Golden Tigresses were composed of eight rookies with Rondina and libero Rica Rivera the only ones leaving the team at the end of the season.
“I’m blessed to have them as teammates because even though we’re only the second placers, this was an unforgettable moment for me,” said Rondina. “I hope they don’t forget me and that even though we weren’t able to reclaim the crown at least we were able to go back to the finals.”
“I told my teammates that when the time comes that they would be the ones playing in the finals ‘don’t ever put UST to shame because I love that school and always fight for her. Love UST the way I loved UST.’”