UAAP: Amid 'Sisi 2.0' tag, UST's Tapia wants to make her own name

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 18 2022 05:27 PM

UST's Ypril Tapia in action against Adamson in their UAAP Season 84 first round match. UAAP Media.
UST's Ypril Tapia in action against Adamson in their UAAP Season 84 first round match. UAAP Media.

MANILA, Philippines -- University of Santo Tomas (UST) rookie Ypril Tapia is not at all fazed by high expectations, even as she continues to draw comparisons to one of their school's legends.

In her first season in action for the Golden Tigresses, Tapia has already been tabbed as "Sisi Rondina 2.0" by her coaches and teammates. Like the former UAAP Most Valuable Player, Tapia is also short for her position, standing at just 5-foot-4.

But what she lacks in height, she makes up for with her leaping ability and explosiveness. The similarities do not end there as UST coach Kungfu Reyes noted that Tapia and Rondina have the same attitude in training and tireless work ethic.

"'Yung work ethic … doon 'yung similarity, 'yung attitude towards training," Reyes said after Tapia scored 11 points in UST's five-set win against Adamson University on Tuesday night. "The way sila mag-train, para silang naglalaro or more than that."

"'Yung tinatawag natin na swerte, swerte talaga sila dahil ganoon sila mag-ensayo. 'Yung chambang tira na 'yun, ang repetition siguro, 1,000 shots bago mo na-master 'yung mga ganoong tira. So ganoon 'yung work ethic," he added.

Tapia, who was discovered in the 2019 National Rebisco Volleyball League, embraces the comparisons to Rondina, whom she considers one of her idols along with Ateneo de Manila University legend Alyssa Valdez.

But the young open hitter is also determined to make a name for herself -- an endeavor fully supported by her team captain, Eya Laure.

"Para sa akin po, maganda pong tawagin na bagong Sisi, pero gusto ko pong gumawa ng bagong pangalan ko po, na as Tapia po talaga," said the UST rookie.

"Same talaga sila ni Ate Sisi ng ugali," Laure said of their rookie. "Pero siyempre, sa mga susunod na taon, I think gagawa talaga si Tapia ng sarili niyang pangalan."

"While andoon 'yung inspiration na si Ate Sisi 'yung nakikita ng mga tao, pero dadating 'yung time na magiging Ypril Tapia 'yung matatandaan ng mga tao 'pag nakita siya," she added.

Reyes also believes that for all of the comparisons to Rondina, Tapia has the potential to be even better than their former star.

"I think Sisi Rondina magiging proud dahil sa bata na 'to, na siya ang tinitingnan," the coach said. "Ako na mismo ang nagsasabi … I think apat na taon pa [siya] sa UAAP, i-check mo kung anong level na nitong bata na 'to."