New ‘ritual’ helps Cherry Rondina bounce back for UST

After only scoring 7 points in UST’s sorry loss to La Salle, Cherry Rondina bounced back and high, going back to her MVP numbers Wednesday to help her team down Adamson in a 5-set thriller.

Co-starring with fellow sophomore EJ Laure as the topscorers for the España crew, the high-leaping Cebuana unleashed 21 markers—19 from kills—on top of 11 excellent digs and 12 excellent reception.

For the 5-foot-5 outside hitter, this could be the start of a personal ritual she started on the eve of the UST-Adamson tussle.

“‘Yung ginawa ko lang po talaga kagabi, ritual po,” she told FOX Sports.

Read: UST coach Kung Fu Reyes on roller-coaster game: Masakit na sa ulo

“Ginawa ko is nanood lang ako ng mga games ko, kung paano ako kumilos. Inaaral ko po ‘yung laro. First time ko po ‘yun ginawa,” she added. “Iniisip ko lang kagabi puro positive. Kagabi sobrang saya ko talaga. Before ako matulog sobrang nakatawa lang ako. In every action na gagawin ko tumatawa lang ako.”

Down 1-2 sets heading into the 4th frame, Laure and Rondina combined forces both on the offensive and defensivee ends of their game to turn back the Lady Falcons and remain within striking distance for a semis slot.

On watching more UST games on record before battling defending champion Ateneo next, the former beach volley champion says, “Hindi ko po alam kasi madami po kasi kaming ginagawa. Ngayon pa prelims week namin. pero kung siguro merong opportunity na gawin ulit ‘yun, why not?”

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Known to be one of the more passionate athletes in the PH volleyball scene, Rondina has become a household name with her signature way of pumping her fists and bobbing her head which she does almost every time she scores a thundering kill.

The warm reception she got from the fans, however, is not the same reaction the Lady Falcons get as some of the girls off San Marcelino continue to draw flak for their loud type of play.

“‘Yung puso ko gustong makipagsagutan pero ‘yung isip ko parang ayaw. Gusto niya tumalikod ako agad,” shared Rondina on dealing with the extra action at the net.

“Ang nasa isip ko, wag sumagot kasi ako din mapapasama. Iniisip ko na tatawanan ko na lang kahit ano na mga sinasabi, kahit nasasaktan na ako,” she added. “Oo nga, nasasaktan ka, pero wag kang magpa-apekto. It’s just a game. Alam ko naman na mababait sila at siguro ganun lang talaga sila maglaro.”

Read: Kim Fajardo shares La Salle got vengeance they really wanted v UST

Now back to its winning ways, UST’s hopes of ending a 3-year Final Four drought have been injected with new life, tying FEU and NU at the 4th spot with a 5-5 record.

And for Rondina, as long as they achieve the end goal of the team, all the tough times shall be worth the sacrifices.

“Sobrang saya kasi nung unang game namin, 1st game ng season ‘yun talo agad. Naisip ko kaya naman eh. Kaya trinabaho talaga namin as a team and mabuti at nailabas naman namin,” shared the spiker on avenging their opending day loss to Adamson.

“Sobrang blessed kasi though nahihirapan kami minsan, nao-overcome namin ‘yun as a team,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio

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