MANILA, Philippines—Reigning UAAP MVP Sisi Rondina will still be wearing the University of Santo Tomas jersey for 3 more days as the Golden Tigresses lost to the Ateneo Lady Eagles in Game 2 of the Season 81 women's volleyball finals on Wednesday.
Rondina's 22-point output at Mall of Asia Arena went to waste as her team fell 24-26, 25-14, 21-25, 15-25, extending the series to a do-or-die match on Saturday at the same venue.
She expressed her dismay at the outcome, but remained upbeat about UST's chances in Game 3.
"Akala ko nga rin last day ko na ngayon. Hindi pala. Na-extend pa 'yung pagiging Golden Tigress ko," Rondina told reporters in jest.
Despite the defeat, Rondina was relieved that rookie of the year Eya Laure did not suffer a major injury after a bad fall in the third set.
"Thankful pa rin kasi hindi ganoong kalala 'yung nangyare kay Eya. Alam kong babawi kami. It's just a bad game," Rondina said.
But she acknowledged that Laure's injury affected UST and that a handful of unforced errors cost the Tigresses the game, especially in first set where they gave away 13 freebies.
The second best outside hitter praised the rookies for trying to keep the team's composure.
"Ganoon talaga siguro kapag may bumagsak, parang nawala agad. At least, makikita niyo na lumaban. Lumaban kami. We had lots of lapses. Thankful ako kasi nandoon pa rin 'yung, 'Tara, ate, babawi,'" Rondina said.
"'Yung mga maliliit na bagay pero ang laking impact sa sarili na marinig mo 'yun sa mga bata."
The team captain even told the young Tigresses to wipe their tears after the game as it is not yet their last game.
"Na-touch ako sa mga bata kasi ang sad nila tingnan. Still, nandoon 'yung babawi at babawi sila. Sabi ko sa kanila na hindi tayo susuko, hindi pa natin nakukuha 'yung pangrap natin and hindi tayo talo," the do-it-all spiker said.
Rondina vowed to comeback stronger in her final game in the collegiate ranks, stressing she will do "whatever it takes" to end her stint by hoisting the big trophy.
"Hindi ko na papalagpasin. Sabi nga, whatever it takes. Doon at doon na lang ang kaya so push na lang hanggang matapos 'yung liga na 'to," she said.
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