MANILA, Philippines -- Former UAAP women’s volleyball champion and once a Queen Tigress Mary Jean Balse is not surprised how Sisi Rondina carried the UST Tigresses anew in Game 1 of their Finals series against the Ateneo Lady Eagles on Saturday.
According to Balse, she even reminded Rondina before the match to lift the team and play like an angel by sending an Instagram message on Saturday morning.
“[Sinabi ko kay Sisi] ‘Yung laro ngayon i-dedicate mo lang ‘yun kay God and play the game like an angel para ‘yung power ni God mapupunta sa kanila,” Balse said after the straight sets win of the Tigresses over Lady Eagles.
True enough, Rondina flew like an angel in the entire game, scattering game-high 23 points, built from 20 attacks, 2 blocks and an ace, to put UST in the cusp of a UAAP volleyball title which they last captured in Season 72.
“Sabi ko, ‘galingan mo, dalhin mo silang lahat, buhatin mo silang lahat kung kaya mo. Gawin mo yung best mo,” added Balse, who lifted the championship trophy in Season 69.
The former middle blocker of UST lauded the confidence and balanced effort shown by the Tigresses all throughout the game.
“‘Di naman sa nagulat. Nandoon ‘yung palaban sila, hindi lang sa isa. Pati ‘yung team B, pati ‘yung bench. Kahit mga bata, tumutulong sa senior nila. Malaki ‘yung pagsuporta nila ngayon,” Balse quipped.
She even compared their winning squad to the current crew of head coach Kungfu Reyes, saying she is seeing herself with Eya Laure back then and Sisi Rondina as Venus Bernal of the team.
According to her, she was also nursing a knee injury when they went in the Finals in Season 69, the same way Laure has a knee injury.
“Nung naglaro kami injured din ako sa tuhod noon. Pero pinu-push niya pa rin kahit masakit tuhod niya. Ramdam ko ‘yun. Lumalaban pa rin siya sa team,” Balse said.
She is hoping the UST Tigresses will end the series on Wednesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
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