SISI Rondina looks to complete a UST three-peat with a new partner in Babylove Barbon, while Mich Morente and Tin Tiamzon try to end La Salle’s title drought in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
The Sand Tigresses had a rest day after completing a seven-match sweep of the eliminations, while the Lady Spikers had to play in the stepladder on Saturday to reach the finals set on Sunday at the Sands by the Bay in Pasay City.
Morente and Tiamzon overcame Isa Molde and Justine Dorog of University of the Philippines in three sets to set a best-of-three series with Rondina and Barbon.
Rondina says it’s not going to be a walk in a park against Morente and Tiamzon.
“Sobrang hirap nilang kalabanin kasi matitibay sila eh. Ano na lang, magma-matter na lang kung sinong makakakuha sa gold bukas,” Rondina said. “Same pa rin naman ang gagawin namin at wala kaming babaguhin. Iga-guide ko pa rin ang partner ko. May the best team win.”
It will the final day Rondina will compete in UAAP beach volleyball, and she is determined to finish her career with gold.
“Sobrang special. Kasi alam mo dati yung feeling na kaba lang dati pero ngayon maluluha ka na lang. Kasi dati kapag may nagpo-post na signing off, signing off ‘Sus, ang drama naman nito’ pero sobrang seryoso pala talaga yun kapag last year mo na,” Rondina said. “Basta ibibigay lang namin kung ano ang kaya naming ibigay and siyempre di namin aayawan talaga na makuha namin itong championship.”
“Ang gusto ko lang maibigay ang korona sa UST. Sobrang kalma na ako nun kasi malaking tulong ang UST sa akin. Ginawa ko talaga siyang pag-ibig na i-commit kung saan naka-commit. Feeling ko ayaw ko ngang umalis eh pero wala eh, matatapos at matatapos talaga.”
Meanwhile, Morente and Tiamzon seek to pull-off a performance like alumni Kim Fajardo and Cyd Demecillo.
La Salle is in the finals for the first time since Fajardo and Demecillo ruled the Season 78 tournament.
“I’m more than thankful na it went our way kasi nung start ng season ‘yung goal talaga namin is to just make it to the top four and if we make it to the finals, then we make it to the finals,” said Tiamzon.
“Good thing na-achieve namin ‘yung goal na ‘yun para macontinue namin ‘yung legacy na sinimulan nina ate kimmy at ate cyd. Sana maulit namin ngayon sa season na ‘to,” she added.
Morente shared that they have been seeking advice from former champion Fajardo prior to the tournament.
“Actually, before magstart ‘yung beach volley tournament, inaask namin ‘Ate Kim, anong advice mo?” Morente said. “Sabi niya, ‘Kaya niyo ‘yan, tiwala lang kayo sa isa’t isa, tiwala lang kayo sa sarili niyo na kaya niyong gawin, maexecute niyo pa ‘yung pinagtraining niyo sa beach volley.’ Very supporive naman sila pag nagtatanong kami ng mga instructions from them .”
The Ateneo Lady Eagle-turned-La Salle Lady Spiker is relishing the moment of her first and last finals appearance.
“It will be my first and last. Super excited kasi hindi namin inexpect na makapasok na kami sa Finals,” she said. “First time ko pumasok sa finals ng beach volleyball and it’s something new talaga na hopefully, Lord please, ibigay sa amin ni Lord ito.”
Morente and Tiamzon said they have nothing to lose as they battle heavy favorites and the defending champions. But they promised to force an epic series against UST.
“Siguro itry namin i-keep yung composure namin nothing to lose naman kasi talagang winork hard namin ito. Ipupush pa rin namin ‘yung sarili namin we’ll give them a good fight,” Morente vowed.