SISI Rondina insisted that there is no room for complacency, even though University of Santo Tomas is already assured of at least a playoff for a Final Four berth in UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball tournament.
After a frustrating stint last season missing the Final Four, Rondina and the Tigresses are just a win away from returning to the semifinals as they beat University of the Philippines in three sets on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
UST improved to 8-4 win-loss record tied at third place with Far Eastern University. Both teams will clash for the Final Four berth on Sunday at the MOA Arena.
But Rondina stressed they cannot be complacent and seal that semifinals seat in her last season.
“Sa opinyon ko, ‘pag nandun ang complacency namin anytime pwedeng mawala sa amin yun eh,” the graduating skipper said. “Lagi lang talaga kaming kumakapit sa word na kaya namin. Pero di namin makukuha yun kung di namin trinabaho.”
The prolific 5-foot-6 hitter wants to sweep their last two games including against the also-ran National University (3-9) on April 27 to build momentum and get a good place in the semis.
“Maipanalo lang namin yung remaining games okay na kami dun, okay na ako nu’n,” Rondina said. “Pero mas maganda na makaabot pa kami sa tuktok na gusto namin. Wala lang talagang relax kami ngayon, pukpukan na talaga sa training.”
Her rookie partner, Eya Laure guarantees to give Rondina a fitting end to her five-year UAAP career.
“Ayokong bigyan si Ate Sisi na, ‘ah hanggang elims na lang ‘to’. Yun talaga kasi entering this UAAP season yun ang sinabi ko sa kanya,” Laure said. “Gusto ko kung ano an deserve niya maibigay namin. Hindi yung ako lang, pero naming lahat.”
UST still has a chance to climb to second place with a twice-to-beat advantage as long as it sweeps its last two games and second-running La Salle has to lose two of its last three assignments.
That’s why UST head coach Kungfu Reyes wants his wards to go all out for the remainder of the elimination round.
“Yung mga ganoong bagay, yung opportunity na maglalaro pa kami iga-grab namin para at least kung ano man ang mangyayari sa laban ni La Salle at saka ni Ateneo, magkakaroon kami ng chance na mag-tie kami sa number two kung sakali,” Reyes said.