BORACAY — University of Santo Tomas’ Cherry Rondina and Rica Rivera asserted their supremacy on the sandcourts as the UAAP champions turned back La Salle’s Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo, 19-21, 21-17, 15-13, on Saturday in the women’s final of the Nestea Beach Volleyball at the Boracay Beach Chalet.
It was a huge win for the Tigresses, especially since the 17-year old Rivera is just recovering from a knee injury.
“Masaya po kasi hindi ko po iniisip na may ganito, galing sa injury po ako, masaya po ako kasi kinaya ko po,” said Rivera, while wiping tears and sand off her face.
“Ang goal lang po namin maglaro lang nang maglaro at gawin namin ang best namin,” added Rivera, who cut short her recovery program to see action in the tournament featuring some of the best teams in the country.
“Dapat six months ang recovery, pero tinanong ko po sa doctor ko kung pwede na ako tumakbo,” she said. “Sabi naman po ng doctor go lang basta kapag hindi ko daw kaya ’wag pilitin.”
Three straight points moved the Tigresses ahead 12-9, and the UST pair held on to win on their first try in the summer event.
“Sa match point po napressure po ako,” admitted the Cebuana Rondina.
“Kasi gusto ko patayin ang bola, sinabi ni Rica na tiwala lang kamin sa isa’t-isa,” she added. “Kaya ayun pag recive niya (Rivera) sabi ni coach pwede ko na atakehin, kaya inatake ko na.”
“Kaunaunahan na Nestea nakasali kami nagchampion pa kaya sobrang saya talaga,” said the 18-year old Rondina.
“Sobrang hardwork po kami, ang dami po naming sinakripisyo sa klase namin para lang dito then sobrang thankful po kami nagbunga mga pinaghirapan namin,” she added.