Cherry Rondina announced her arrival with a mighty performance towing Foton to a thrilling 25-11, 22-25, 26-24, 25-21 victory over Generika in the 2016 Philippine Superliga (PSL) All-Filipino Conference women’s volleyball tournament last night at the FilOil Flying V Center in San Juan.
Rondina, a pint-sized open spiker who was a direct-hire from University of Santo Tomas, came through with crucial hits in the fourth set to help the Tornadoes capture their first win in this prestigious club tourney bankrolled by KLab Cyscorpions, Asics, Grand Sports, Mikasa, Mueller and Senoh with TV5 as official broadcast partner.
Rondina delivered 19 of her 21 points on kills while Jaja Santiago was switched from the middle to the open spiker position to finish the job with 12 kills and four blocks for Foton who made an emphatic performance after dropping its opening-day game to Petron.
“It’s good that we lost to Petron in our first game. At least the wake-up call came early,” said Foton coach Villet Ponce-de Leon. “They saw the effect of that lost and everybody woke up and vowed to win it this time. It was a total team effort.”
But still, the night belonged to Rondina.
With the Lifesavers threatening to stretch the game to a deciding fifth set, 14-11, Rondina caught fire and single-handedly carried the Tornadoes, giving them a 19-16 lead entering the crucial phase of the match.
Veteran Rubie de Leon and rookie Chloe Cortez refused to give up as they scored on four consecutive hits to square the count at 21. Cortez suffered a service error in the ensuing play while Angeli Araneta connected an ace to put the Tornadoes out of harm’s way.
“Our problem during the game was to how to calm her down,” said Ponce-de Leon, referring to the 5-foot-4 Rondina who dazzled the crowd with her high-leaping, high-intensity brand of play.
“She is young and full of energy. She performs best when she’s not hyper. So the challenge for us was how to tone her down. But overall, it was a very good game for her.”
It was another well-balanced assault for the Lifesavers as Shaya Adorador, Wensh Tiu, Cortez and Ria Meneses all delivered double-digit offensively.
Adorador knocked down14 points while Tiu, Cortez and Meneses chipped in 13, 12 and 11 markers respectively for the Lifesavers, who came up with a gallant stand despite being stacked against a former champion in Foton.
Generika suffered its first loss after posting an impressive victory over Standard Insurance-Navy in the opener.
Games Saturday: (FilOil Flying V Center)
2 pm – Petron vs Generika (Live AksyonTV, replay on TV5 June 26 3:30pm)
4 pm – RC Cola vs Cignal (Live AksyonTV)
AksyonTV is on free TV channel 41 in Manila and 29 in Cebu/Davao. Skycable 59; Destiny Cable 78; Cignal channel 1; Cablelink channel 11.
Replays on YouTube
Videos are on the Sports5 Youtube Channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXDG9ue-emCN8Ad3h7lERqQ/playlists
These replays are available overseas except US, Canada and Middle East
Generika vs Foton https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8YJfi4J0C0
Amy’s Kitchen vs F2 Logistics https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFFrRj6fPVw