UNIVERSITY of Santo Tomas star Sisi Rondina set a historic 35-point performance but she took the blame for the two attack errors she committed that let Ateneo de Manila in completing come-from-behind five set win in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
Rondina nailed 30 kills, three blocks and a pair of aces to become the top scoring Tigresses surpassing Aiza Maizo-Pontillas’s 33 -point record in 2009 and tie Alyssa Valdez’s league record in Season 75 in a loss to Adamson in the second round on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
Down 10-13 in the fifth set, Rondina scored her record-setting 35th point with an off-the-block hit to trim it within one but she committed back-to-back attack errors that let Ateneo escaped and completed a come-from-behind victory in a five-set thriller on Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Centre in San Juan City.
The high-flying 5-foot-6 hitter admitted it’s her fault but she didn’t frown as the Tigresses weren’t hard on themselves despite squandering a two-set lead.
“Natawa lang ako na parang pagkapalo ko, ‘okay tapos na.’ Parang ako ang nagpatalo kasi parang marami pa ang mangyayari kung napuntos ko ‘yun eh,” Rondina said. “Pero siguro it’s God’s plan din. Tatanggapin ko yun ng buong puso na talo kami pero may natutunan kami.”
It could have been more special if her league record was paired with a win but Rondina will just look on the things they will learn from the loss that kicked off their second round campaign.
“Lagi naman dumadaan sa bibig natin na sayang, di nanalo. Eh wala eh may nananalo, may natututo. Matututo rin kami sa ginalaw namin kanina,” Rondina said. “Actually, nag-praise pa nga sa amin yung mga coaches namin kasi ang ganda nga raw tingnan, naglaro kami ng maayos. Kinapos lang talaga.”
Rondina shared that she slept at 3 a.m. watching her highlights for muscle memory as they start their second round campaign against a tough opponent Ateneo.
“Kagabi naka-mindset na ako na kailangan naming manalo para good yung standing,” the graduating hitter said. “Kanina naglaro kami, na di ba ang ganda? ‘Parang maganda ‘to ah kasi nagtutulungan kami.’ Kinapos lang talaga kami and napunta sa kanila ang momentum.”
The tireless scorer attempted 102 spikes and scored 30 to show her teammates her desire to beat the Lady Eagles, the only team Rondina didn’t beat in her five-year career as Ateneo defeated UST in 15 straight games dating back to the second round of Season 74.
“Inisip ko lang na bawal akong mapagod. Sinabihan ko ang setter ko na sina Mafe (Galanza), sina Alina (Bicar) na hindi ako mapapagod magpalo, wag lang kayong mapagod mag-coverage,” she said.
Rondina added that she also had a hard time soaring over Ateneo’s wall defense, which made 24 kill blocks, 11 coming from Madayag.
“Ang lalaki talaga, promise, swear to God, ginawa ko na ang best ko pero sobrang taas. Matatangkad na eh ‘tas ‘pag pumasok pa ang kamay mas lalong tumangkad sila,” the Cebuana said. “Ako dinaan ko na lang sa word na hindi ako susuko, di ako mapapagod. Nasa isipan ko na rin na kailangan naming manalo. Every time na pupunta naman talaga ako (sa game) ang mindset ko na manalo kami.”
Rondina’s achievement in the game including her defensive effort of 25 digs and the contribution from rookie sensation Eya Laure, who had 21 points laced up with 15 excellent receptions, were spoiled by Ateneo that halted UST’s three-game winning streak.
But with a 5-3 win-loss record at solo third place, Rondina vows to bounce back and bring all their learnings from this game for their last six outing of the elimination round hoping to reach the Final Four.
“Kinapos kami pero overall nasa magandang (posisyon) pa rin naman kami ngayon. Tatrabahuhin ulit namin sa ensayo,” she said.
“One game at a time, bilog ang bola eh.
Walang ganoong mangyayri pero nandoon pa rin na babawian namin and one game at a time.”