UAAP FINALS: Gusto ko ilo-look back nila na, ‘Ah year yun nina Ate Dawn’
Mark Escarlote on May 02, 2018 10:12 PM
Gusto kong iwan ko sa team na ilo-look back nila na ‘Ah year ‘yun nina Ate Dawn.’ Thankfully naman nabigay namin sa kanila -- Dawn Macandili
De La Salle University libero Dawn Macandili covered her face with her hands and walked backwards while looking up at the scoreboard inside the Big Dome.
Game barker Rolly Manlapaz with his familiar voice called out the perfect crosscourt hit by Tin Tiamzon.
Amidst the falling confetti, the 5-foot defensive wonder Macandili double-checked the set score.
26-24. Third set.
DLSU took the match in straight sets.
Macandili in the past two seasons almost simultaneously celebrated with the team after the final whistle confirmed their title win.
This time it took longer to sink in.
Five years with the green and white and this championship conquest felt extra surreal.
Half a decade of playing under the legendary coach Ramil De Jesus and in that moment, all of the memories of her hardships, jubilations, challenges, successes, tears, blood and sweat flashed inside her head.
Macandili’s knees buckled.
Her collegiate volleyball journey just ended.
“Sobrang naghina na lang ako. Sabi ko, tiningnan ko pa, dinoble check ko pa, 26-24. Tapos na ang career ko sa college and lahat ng pinaghirapan talaga namin bawing-bawi,” said Macandili after the Lady Spikers captured their third grand slam with a 26-24, 25-20, 26-24, sweep of Far Eastern University Wednesday in Game 2 of best-of-three UAAP Season 80 women’s volleyball Finals.
Macandili in her final game for DLSU, which annexed its 11th title overall, tallied 21 digs and had eight excellent receptions.
This championship series, DLSU and FEU’s first title showdown since Season 71, for Macandili was the most pressure-packed in all her five Finals stints.
“Sobrang iba siya kasi ako na ‘yung last playing year, mas malaki yung pressure,” said Macandili, who averaged 22.5 digs and 10.5 receptions in the Finals series.
“Kasi last year we were playing for ate Kimmy (Fajardo) so parang sobrang relax lang,” added the 2017 AVC Asian Senior Women’s Volleyball Championship 2nd Best Libero. “I’m playing without thinking about the consequences kasi may isa pa akong year ganoon. In-all out ko rin kasi ang inspiration ko ay si Ate Kim.”
“Then this year parang ang iniisip ko ay ‘yung team,” she said. “(Kung) ano ‘yung gusto kong iwan ko sa team na ilo-look back nila na ‘Ah year ‘yun nina Ate Dawn.’ Thankfully naman nabigay namin sa kanila.”
And her last game for DLSU was rewarded not only with the championship but also with the Finals Most Valuable Player honor.
“Well ako naman every time na papasok ako sa court iniisip ko lang kung paano ako makakatulong sa team ko and paano sila imo-motivate sa loob kasi siyempre ang role ko is yun nga, as a senior, is to keep the team going,” she said.
Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles