IF you've noticed a constant smile in Sisi Rondina's face, a distinct calm, it's pretty understandable.
The University of Santo Tomas star, you see, has recently been reunited with her mom Alona, who is finally home after working for 14 straight years in Brunei.
“Kumalma lang talaga ako, kasi alam mo ‘yung feeling na one of your goals na makumpleto ang family mo hindi mo na iisipin kasi nangyayari na siya,” said the third-year UST spiker.
No wonder Rondina has been playing well for the Tigresses, who have hit top form in the second round of the UAAP Season 79 women's volleyball tournament to made a strong bid for a Final Four appearance after a four-year absence.
It is that same mentality that Rondina hopes to bring to UST's game against National University on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum where the winner will advance outright to the semifinals.
Sisi may be on cloud nine but she’s keeping her eyes on the prize.
“Syempre stick to goal pa rin, stick to plan. At siyempre, ta-trabahuhin talaga namin para mas maging maganda ang season namin ngayon,” said Sisi.
“Hindi man namin nabigyan ‘yung seniors namin last year ng magandang legacy, so maybe this (season),” she added.
UST currently is in third spot behind outright semifinalists Ateneo and La Salle with an 8-5 record, half-a-game ahead of Far Eastern University (8-6) and a full game ahead of the Lady Bulldogs (7-6).
The Tigresses will make it to the Final Four as the third seed with a win, but a loss will leave them to play a sudden-death match against NU for the final semifinal spot.
Thanks to a superior tiebreak quotient, FEU is guaranteed a Final Four place even if the Lady Tamaraws, Tigresses, and Lady Bulldogs ended up tied at 8-6.
Although mommy Alona is finally home, she still won't watch Sisi’s games from ringside.
“Pinauwi ko na talaga siya (sa Cebu) kasi alam niyo naman, sobrang busy ko rin sa training, ayoko yung hindi ko siya papansinin,” Rondina said.
“Hindi naman sa ini-itsapwera ko siya, pero gusto ko na may pumapansin sa kanya, may magaalaga sa kanya,” she added.