UST Tigresses buck slow start to whip UNO-Recoletos in Nestea Beach Volley opener
Sisi Rondina struggled early against the heat but found her rhythm as the game progressed. Jaime T. Campos

BORACAY -- Defending champion University of Santo Tomas bounced back from an error-plagued opening set to deny University of Negros Occidental Recoletos, 24-26, 21-8, 15-9, starting its title retention bid on a winning note in the Nestea Beach Volleyball tournament on Thursday.

Sisi Rondina and Jem Gutierrez, the replacement for Rica Rivera who's still recovering from a shoulder injury she suffered during the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament, overcame a sluggish start brought about by the scorching heat. After cooling down before match entered the second set, Rondina fortunately found her rhythm.

“First set kasi parang naninigas ako. Parang di ko feel ‘yung paglaro ko sa loob kaya nagbasa ako ng malamig na tubig kaya buti bumalik na ‘yung kundisyon ng laro ko,” said Rondina.

But the outspoken Tigress was straight forward in saying that she’s not expecting too much this year, especially without her beach volleyball pair, Rivera.

“Hindi kami nag-a-assume na ma-defend ang title namin,” said Rondina. “First of all, hindi ko partner ‘yung partner ko dati. Siguro tatrabahuhin namin and kung ano man ang magiging outcome ng ligang ito ay tatanggapin namin.”

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