Maddie Madayag: Destined to be a Lady Eagle

Mark Escarlote on Jul 21, 2020 01:01 PM
Maddie Madayag: Destined to be a Lady Eagle
(Photo: Arvin Lim)

Maddie Madayag is one of the finest if not the best middle blocker to come out of the Ateneo de Manila University.

The Davaoena will always be remembered as a menacing threat at the net and one of the Lady Eagles’ vital cogs at the frontline alongside Bea De Leon in Ateneo’s latest conquest.

Her five colorful years with the Katipunan-based squad featured two UAAP championships and three Finals appearances. Madayag even left a winning legacy when she powered the Lady Eagles to its third championship in 2019 to end a three-year title drought in her swan song.    

But Madayag shared that in all honesty, she never imagined herself playing volleyball in college much more landing a spot in Ateneo.

“To be honest di ko nakita ang sarili ko na maglaro ng volleyball in college. It’s a surprise for me na nag-Ateneo ako,” Madayag said in an interview with Denden Lazaro and Anton Roxas in the pilot episode of Volleyball DNA.

Madayag admitted that she started playing volleyball rather late.

Growing up, the national team member tried taekwondo and ballet. Madayag took up wushu competitively during grade school before shifting to volleyball in high school.

“Third year I started to love volleyball kasi we started to join competitions. I’m competitive kasi. I didn’t want to lose so I had to work extra hard to help my team dati,” said the Davao Christian High School alumnae.   

Little did she know that in that same year a huge opportunity would come her way.

In an athletic camp in Davao the then UP basketball assistant coach Potit De Vera noticed great potential in Madayag.

“He was making us do some drills and he noticed na sobrang galing ko raw o athletic in a way. Siguro tumatak ako sa isip niya,” said Madayag.

De Vera informed the then Lady Eagles assistant coach Sherwin Malonzo of a potential talent in Davao.  

“He contacted Coach Sherwin and then he said baka may gusto kang i-recruit sa Davao so dun nag-start,” Madayag said.

Coincidentally, Madayag’s uncle is also a friend of Malonzo.

“He contacted him also na parang sabi niya, ‘Pre baka gusto mong makita ang pamangkin ko maglaro ng volleyball kasi matangkad siya,’" Madayag recalled. “Ang mentality kasi ni Coach Sherwin kapag matangkad natuturuan. Eh yung height di mo naman natuturo yan. Parang ganoon ang thinking nina Coach Sherwin.”

“And he said, ‘O tamang-tama kasi pupunta rin ako ng Davao para may i-check na player,’” she continued, “Eh ‘yun pala ako lang din pala ang itsi-check na player. Sobrang coincidence.”

Destiny played a big role in flying Madayag to the Lady Eagles' nest.

From there, as we all know, Madayag spread her wings and brought Ateneo to great heights winning a title on her rookie year before closing her collegiate career on top.



Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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