Ara Galang, Mika Reyes make Manilla Santos’ all-time DLSU squad
Mark Escarlote on Jul 30, 2020 05:09 PM
(Photo: Richard Esguerra)
For more than two decades, De La Salle University has produced outstanding women’s volleyball players.
Stars who not only helped the Lady Spikers claim 11 UAAP titles, but have also shown excellence in the semi-professional ranks as well as in the national team.
Names like Manilla Santos-Ng, Aby Marano, Ara Galang, Michele Gumabao, Majoy Baron and Dawn Macandili are just some of the stars that are proud products of DLSU’s successful volleyball program under a great mentor in Ramil De Jesus.
Among all those, the legendary Santos stood out as one of the most accomplished Lady Spikers after delivering the school’s first of three three-peats, bagging four UAAP crowns during her time with DLSU and having her no. 14 jersey retired.
Excluding herself, Santos-Ng gave her all-time Lady Spikers squad during her appearance on Volleyball DNA.
Here’s her list.
Dawn Macandili and Sharmaine Penano
Macandili is the standard for DLSU liberos during her time with the green in white.
Her timing, agility and great reflex to defend the floor while controlling DLSU first touch for a smooth transition to offense was a beauty to watch back when she was still a Lady Spiker.
A three-peat in the UAAP, numerous titles in the commercial league and individual accolades including being named as Asia’s 2nd Best Libero in 2017 are just some of the awards Macandili has under her belt.
Penano, on the other hand, is the ‘OG’ of all Lady Spikers liberos.
A member of the original grand slam DLSU squad, Santos-Ng described Penano as gutsy.
“Ang tapang nu’ng batang ‘yun tapos ang galing din niya magbasa,” said Santos-Ng.
Chie Saet and Kim Fajardo
“Matalino, nagbabasa at saka inaaral talaga nila ang kalaban,” said Santos-Ng of the two playmakers.
Fajardo is easily this generation’s most recognizable name among the DLSU’s great setters.
Under her name are UAAP three titles, three UAAP Best Setter recognitions, championships and individual accolades in the commercial league and stints with the national squad.
Having been the setter during her time, trusted playmaker Saet has the caliber that is obvious to Santos-Ng.
“What I like about Chie since nakalaro ko siya is minsan kahit walang ganoong play na itinuro si coach, pinapapasok niya ako, “Illa pumasok ka ng ganito, basta pumasok ka,’” said Santos-Ng. “Si Chie magaling, matalino.”
Majoy Baron and Mika Reyes
DLSU’s system constantly evolves and in the past decade hinged its success with the might of its middle blockers.
Majoy Baron and Mike Reyes are two of the most feared Lady Spiker sentinels defending the net. The duo helped DLSU reclaim the UAAP crown in 2016, ending the two-year reign of archrival Ateneo de Manila University.
Both had three titles each during their time as Lady Spikers. Baron was named as the Season 79 Most Valuable Player.
The two are also members of the national squad.
“Ang tatangkad nila and maganda pa,” Santos-Ng said with a smile.
Kim Dy and Michele Gumabao
Tall, intimidating and efficient best describe Kim Dy and Gumabao.
Their presence gave DLSU the extra boost when slowing down if not stopping the open hitters of the opposing team.
When needed, the two provided the extra punch for the Lady Spikers’ offense as well as DLSU’s psy war experts.
Ara Galang and Des Cheng
Galang was DLSU's most consistent scorer during her time.
Her precision and power made her one of the Lady Spikers’ best hitters of all time.
Cheng, on the other hand, displayed her versatility and well-rounded skills during her tour of duty for the Taft-based squad.
She was one of DLSU’s main weapons on offense and a valuable piece on floor defense.
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