Fifi Sharma reunites with her La Salle Alas colleagues

May 23, 2024

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MANILA, Philippines – When Fifi Sharma rejoins Angel Canino, Thea Gagate, and Julia Coronel—her old La Salle teammates—in Alas Pilipinas Women for the forthcoming AVC Challenge Cup, she couldn’t be more proud.

The Lady Spikers team that defeated National University in the UAAP Season 85 Women’s Volleyball Tournament Finals included Sharma, Canino, Gagate, and Coronel as key players. This victory was the school’s 12th overall and its first since 2018.

After La Salle’s victorious title run, the 5-foot-11 middle blocker signed with Premier Volleyball League team Akari.

“I’m very excited because it feels like a reunion for us,” Sharma remarked during the Alas Pilipinas AVC Challenge Cup news conference.  “Seeing them here at the top level of play in the nation after being apart for over a year is like a new emotion, parang ‘wow, friendship goals!”, she continued.

Sharma has been added to the 14-player roster by head coach Jorge Souza de Brito, and she will now make her Nationals debut. Pool A action between the Philippines and Australia will begin on Thursday at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum.

Sharma expressed excitement in Alas Pilipinas, which features talents from both the PVL and UAAP, despite their limited preparation time. She expressed her admiration for the athletes’ mindset and desire to represent the Philippines.

The former PBA player Carlo Sharma’s daughter promised to give it her all and seize the chance. We’re all motivated and excited to give it our all in this event, especially considering the current mix of participants. According to Sharma, “I believe that everyone is making every effort to facilitate the gelling process for everyone.”

“Maybe given that it’s a short tournament, my mindset will just be to enjoy every moment and make sure that I stay in the present and do whatever I can, to give my one hundred percent each and every moment that I train with the Philippine team .”

Sisi Rondina and Eya Laure are eager to see Alas again.

Eya Laure and Sisi Rondina, two former standout volleyball players from University of Santo Tomas (UST), will rejoin on the court to play for the Alas Pilipinas Women’s team in the 2018 AVC Challenge Cup. 

This dynamic partnership comes after a season of competitive play in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) between the two teams.

Laure remarked, “Of course, I’m excited, she (Sisi) is with me now,” at the national team’s debut at the TV5 Media Center. She expressed excitement for the upcoming voyage as she thought back on their colorful history. “This time, I’m also looking forward to more things that are new because of course for how many years we have been together again with sister Sisi (Rondina) and sister Jia (De Guzman).”

There are several noteworthy events in their past, chief among them being their captaincy of the UST Golden Tigresses to the UAAP Season 81 Finals. Even though they lost to Ateneo de Manila University in an exciting three-game series, Rondina was named Season MVP and Laure was named Rookie of the Year for their outstanding performance.

The current team, which had super rookie Angge Poyos and captain Bernadett Pepito, helped UST maintain its notoriety. They advanced to the Season 86 finals but were defeated by National University.

It is Laure’s first time back on the national squad since the 30th Southeast Asian Games in Manila. Veteran beach volleyball player Rondina is making her team’s indoor debut. Angel Canino, the MVP of the UAAP Season 85 and a great player for La Salle, was also excited to work with Laure.

Laure, however, asked the Filipino volleyball community to be patient, pointing out that their combined preparation time has been little. 

At the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the AVC Challenge Cup is scheduled to begin on May 22. Laure is determined to give it her best to help the national team make a lasting impact. 

However, Rondina comes into the competition after a taxing PVL season with Choco Mucho, in which they faced Creamline in the All-Filipino Conference finals. 

Rondina is prepared to provide the same vigor and commitment to the national squad despite the difficult defeat.

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