Diminutive Cherry Rondina dedicates UST campaign to injured skipper Lastimosa
In her season debut, Cherry Rondina topscored for UST with 30 points but her efforts went down the drain as the Tigresses lost a five-setter to Adamson, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 30-28, 14-16. Dante Peralta

UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas sophomore Cherry Rondina is motivated not to let Pam Lastimosa down as she takes over the spot left by the injured former Tigresses skipper in the UAAP women's volleyball tournament.

Lastimosa was ruled out for the season after suffering an ACL injury in the offseason, leaving the open spiker spot in the hands of Cebu native Rondina.

In her season debut, Rondina topscored for UST with 30 points but her efforts went down the drain as the Tigresses lost a five-setter to Adamson, 22-25, 21-25, 25-20, 30-28, 14-16.

She strives to get a win next time, saying she is dedicating the campaign to her fallen teammate.

"Masasabi ko na para kay Ate Pam 'to, kasi sa kanya 'tong posisyon. Na(motivate) ako kay Ate Pam kasi sobrang palaban niya, which is siya talaga dapat ang maglalaro.

"Ayaw kong sayangin 'yung opportunity na binigay (sa akin) and dapat ko 'tong ilaban kasi kay Ate Pam ito," she added.

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The pint-sized Rondina, a bundle of energy when inside the court, explained why she plays every game at a very high level.

"Kasi pag naglalaro ako kino-commit ko 'yung sarili ko sa laro," she said. "And sabi kasi ni coach (Kungfu Reyes), 'Once na tumapak kayo sa court, ibigay niyo ang confidence niyo.'"

UST returns to action on Sunday against two-time defending champion Ateneo and Rondina expressed the hope that the Tigresses have learned from their mistakes in the match against Adamson.

"'Learn from our mistakes and kaya naman pala eh, 'yun ang sabi niya (Reyes). And parang may kulang pa siguro. Kulang pa sa character like pag nag-down kami paano namin i-boost ang team namin sa kahit anong sitwasyon," said Rondina.

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