April 14, 2024

PVL: Why Choco Mucho recruits look up to Sisi Rondina

PVL: Why Choco Mucho recruits look up to Sisi Rondina
Art by Mitzi Solano/One Sports

It's easy to see why a lot of fans--and players--look up to the PVL Second All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player Sisi Rondina.

This shot by PVL photographer Joaqui Flores says it all, really.

How can you not look up, literally?

  

For the Choco Mucho Flying Titans' recruits this 2024 season, they each have their own reasons in idolizing the Cherry Bomb.

  

"Kasi si Ate Sisi, grabe talaga siya magtrabaho sa court," former PLDT High Speed Hitter Mean Mendrez told One Sports after training.

Her fellow PLDT spiker Royse Tubino said the same.

"'Di na ko lalayo, si Sisi. Na-iinspire ako sa talon niya talaga. Dedicated talaga siya sa team. Even as a veteran, nacha-challenge ako kay Sisi. Gusto ko siyang sabayan para makatulong ako sa team," Tubino said.

Young setter Mars Alba from the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers kept herself humble.

"Lahat po sila, kasi na-realize ko ako talaga bunso. Ako pinakabata sa kanilang lahat," the playmaker said.

Meanwhile, former Cignal HD Spikers libero Bia General had a more practical reason.

"Kasi ang hirap niyang kalaban eh! Nag-decide ako, kakampihan ko na lang!" General joked, laughing. "Mahirap, ang daming variation ng palo niya tapos may power din. Maging kakampi na lang kami!"

Rondina was particularly proud of her reception skills, making sure that these were recognized. And it was also this department that a lot of the Flying Titans' recruits wanted to improve on as well.

"Ayokong mahirapan 'yung teammates ko, setters especially. Para swabe 'yung galawan namin," General noted.

"'Yung floor defense and receive. 'Yung palo andyan na 'yan. Nilu-look forward kong maging complete player," Tubino added.

But why Choco Mucho? It all boils down to coach Dante Alinsunurin's demeanor and how he was able to push Choco Mucho to a silver medal finish in the PVL.

"Nakita ko rin na maganda 'yung system ni coach Dante, kung paano ko sila nakalaro dati. Sobrang chill lang. Parang sa personality ko, pasok 'yung pagka-chill pag naglalaro," Mendrez admitted.

[ALSO READ: PVL: Choco Mucho announces haul of Mars Alba, Mean Mendrez, and Bia General] 

Tubino and Alba were apparently longtime targets for Alinsunurin.

"Si Coach Dante, way, way back, sobrang tagal kinukuha ako sa Air Force dati pa talaga. This time gusto ko rin siya ma-try. Sobrang chill, sobrang kalmado mag-coach," Tubino admitted.

It also helped that their gym was near her Army deployment so it was easy for her to move anywhere.

[ALSO READ: PVL: Choco Mucho signs Royse Tubino for title push

"For me, nung nawala F2, first choice ko talaga Choco Mucho. Maraming teams na lumalapit. Pinag-isipan ko talaga, lahat ng teams competitive 'yung offers," Alba said.

"Mas na-feel ko sa kanila 'yung gusto ako ng coaches, management and players. Kasi as a player, bihira kang makahanap ng gustong-gusto ka ng coaches eh. 'Yun 'yung isa sa naging factor kung bakit ako nasa Choco Mucho."

(With reports from Mei-Lin Lozada, One Sports)