Arado, Macandili attest to PHI team’s improved floor defense

Mark Escarlote on Nov 05, 2019 04:34 PM
Arado, Macandili attest to PHI team’s improved floor defense
Accomplished liberos Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado attest to the national women's volleyball team's improved floor defense.

Dawn Macandili and Kath Arado are two of the country’s finest liberos with unquestionable skills.

It’s a no-brainer that the two landed spots on the national women’s volleyball team.

But the duo could only do so much, as the Nationals’ floor defense remains to be a work in progress.

This is the aspect of their game that the Filipinas tried to address in their 12-day training in Japan recently.

Although the Nationals still have to polish their floor defense in time for the 30th Southeast Asian Games starting a few weeks from now, both multi-tilted liberos are one in saying that the team did get some significant improvement.

“Sa point of view ko, ang ganda ng pagka-improve ba,” said Arado, the UAAP Season 81 Best Libero and former national junior team standout.

The University of the East product related that compared from their first training camp in Thailand two months ago, the Filipinas made progress.  

“Kasi noong una namin sa Thailand as in unang training namin tapos after ilang training namin tune-up agad kami sa Thailand. Parang, ‘Hala yung totoo? Kanya-kanya?’” said Arado. “Yung onting kailangang iabot lang na isang step, dalawang step hindi talaga makuha kasi mabilis.”

In Japan, playing against fast and athletic club teams, the Filipinas made an extra effort to address their weakness in floor defense that was easily exploited by their Japanese rivals.   

“Tapos mga ilang training, ilang tune-ups makikita mo talaga yung effort ng spiker na humabol ng bola. Tapos yung magugulat ka na, ‘Hindi mo ito ginagawa dati pero nagagawa mo na ngayon,’” added Arado. “Kaya nakakatuwa na kahit na limited time nagagawa naming i-improve ang bawat isa lalo na ang team. Marunong din kasing makinig eh saka grabe ang coaches namin dito detailed kung magturo.”   

The coaching staff wanted the Nationals to adopt the system of Japan. Not just its solid floor defense, but also the patience and discipline in transition from defense to offense.

"'Yun naman angpinipilit na ipa-adopt sa amin ni Coach Shaq (Delos Santos) eh. Especially in Japan mataastalaga ang level of floor defense," sai Macandili, who is making her second straight SEA Games stint. "Talagag pinu-push niya kami na ma-adopt ngteam yun para come SEA Games maging matibay na ang floor defense namin.

Overall, Macandili, the ASEAN Grand Prix second leg Best Libero, believed that the team is on the right track to equip itself for its bid to end a 14-year podium finish drought in the biennial meet.

"I can say it’s at 70%. Kasi nandoon pa kami sa point ng bugbugan. After kasi ng bugbugan na training doon pa lang magpi-peak ang team,” she said. “Siguro tina-timing lang din ang pag-peak papasok sa SEA Games.”

All of the things the Nationals learned and the weaknesses they tried to correct in their Japan training will be put to the test starting Tuesday when they begin their campaign in the Philippine Superliga Super Cup in a short tournament against two selection teams from the PSL and Japanese team University of Tsukuba.   




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