It’s an opportunity to grow -- Madayag on National team call-up

Mark Escarlote on Sep 04, 2019 09:42 PM
It’s an opportunity to grow -- Madayag on Nat’l team call-up
Masaya ako kasi ngayon lang ako nagkaroon ng chance na makasali talaga -- Maddie Madayag (Photo by Arvin Lim)

After a long wait, Maddie Madayag will finally get a chance to play for the national team.

“Masaya ako kasi ngayon lang ako nagkaroon ng chance na makasali talaga,” said Madayag after her recent call up for the national pool.

Madayag with UAAP Season 81 1st Best Middle Blocker Roselyn Doria and veteran opposite spiker Jovelyn Gonzaga were the latest players to be included in the pool that will train for the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

“I’m very glad na sila Coach Shaq [Delos Santos] wanted to get me kasi it’s an opportunity rin as a player na I can grow,” said the ChocoMucho standout.

The two-time UAAP champion had been invited to join the pool before but conflict in her UAAP schedule as part of the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles and her studies prevented were the major obstacles for her to commit.    

“Kasi first year ako underage ako, second year na-injure ako tapos third year, fourth year hanggang pag-graduate ako I was committed to Ateneo eh,” said the UAAP Season 81 2nd Best middle blocker. “I really couldn’t play for the national team kasi UAAP season.”

Madayag said that it has always been her dream to be in the national team and play for the country.

“Nu’ng season pa lang tinatanong ako kung interested ako sabi ko, ‘Oo naman, ba’t naman aayaw ako maglaro para sa bayan,’” said Madayag.

She also explained that she and teammate Kat Tolentino didn’t get a chance attend the tryouts called by Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. because it was held either near the UAAP season or with the tournament already on going.   

“Nu’ng UAAP pa di rin kami naka-tryout ni Kat kasi we had training tsaka may games kami,” she said. “During the season parang tinatanong talaga ako if I wanted to join sabi ko oo naman talaga. Hindi lang talaga ako available at that time.”


Big shoes to fill

Madayag's inclusion came just in time after 6-foot-5 middle blocker Jaja Santiago failed to get a clearance from her Japan V. Premier League club Ageo Medics to suit up for the national team in the SEA Games that the Philippines will host in November.

Santiago won’t be available in the biennial meet with the Japan League season set to begin on October 27.      

“Mas masaya kung andoon si Jaja di ba? We’ll still give our best naman tsaka it’s a team effort so kung ano yung gusto ng team yun naman yung lalabas, said Madayag.

Aside from Santiago, Tots Carlos, Celine Domingo, Angel Cayuna, Jema Galanza and Jerrili Malabanan withdrew from the pool according to Delos Santos.  

With Santiago out, Madayag as well as the remaining middles in the pool Mika Reyes, skipper Aby Marano, Majoy Baron and Doria will have big shoes to fill.

“Doon naman sa filling in kay Jaja marami din kaming gitna sa roster e,” said Madayag. “We’re gonna train harder for the spot of Jaja to fill it in and we’re gonna give our all para sa bayan.”

Madayag, Gonzaga and Creamline’s Alyssa Valdez and Jia Morado will join the national pool in Thailand on September 15. The bulk of the pool leaves for Thailand on Saturday for the 12-day training camp before seeing action in the Southeast Asian Grand Prix in Nakhon Ratchasima from Sept. 20 to 22.



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