Ms. Everywhere in the right place at right time in PHI win

Mark Escarlote on Aug 14, 2017 09:27 PM
Ms. Everywhere in the right place at right time in PHI win
First time ko na makasama sa national team, for the past two games nangangapa pa ako, like yung aura ng laro rito na puro foreigner ang kalaban. So siguro nakuha ko na rin ang rhythm ko sa paglalaro lalo na sa mga kasama ko rin sa loob ng court -- PHI team libero Dawn Macandili

BINAN CITY, Laguna –-- What a time for libero Dawn Macandili to get her rhythm going in the 19th AVC Asian Senior Women's Volleyball Championship.

The 5-foot defensive specialist played her best game of the tournament Monday, leading the Philippine national women’s volleyball team’s offensive transition in a 27-25, 26-24, 17-25, 25-23, shocker over Vietnam Monday in the quarterfinals classification round.  

The De La Salle University standout complemented the solid net defense of middles Maika Ortiz and Aby Marano, taking care of the floor defense that served as the catalyst of the PHI team’s offense, giving playmaker Kim Fajardo good first balls to work with for attackers Alyssa Valdez, Jaja Santiago and Jovelyn Gonzaga.

“Siguro every day naman hindi mo masasabi na mabibigay mo ang 100% kasi minsan may bad day ka,” said Macandili. “Siguro kanina pinaghandaan ko talaga ng mabuti ang game para matulungan ko ang team ko na umangat pa at maka-play pa ng maayos.”

The Nationals reserve libero Macandili, the 2016 Philippine Superliga All-Filipino Most Valuable Player, tallied 19 perfect digs and had 12 of the PHI team’s 32 excellent receptions.         

“First time ko na makasama sa national team, for the past two games nangangapa pa ako, like yung aura ng laro rito na puro foreigner ang kalaban,” she said. “So siguro nakuha ko na rin ang rhythm ko sa paglalaro lalo na sa mga kasama ko rin sa loob ng court.”

The smallest Pinay player inside the court stood the tallest on floor defense, throwing her body everywhere, undaunted even in front of a Southeast Asian volleyball giant in Vietnam.     

“’Yun din ang akala ko before na, “hala mga top teams ‘yung kalaban namin dito,” she said. “Tapos nu’ng na-experience ko na na nasa loob ako ng court sabi ko, “teka volleyball lang itong pinag-uusapan natin.” Parang it’s anybody’s game.”

Macandili proved that what Japanese club team Okayama Seagulls coach Akiyoshi Kawamoto said about her being a potential world-class libero during their 17-day Japan training camp was true.

Head coach Francis Vicente was all praises to his libero.

“Magaling! Maganda ‘yung ginawa niya naging maganda ‘yung resulta,” said Vicente. “Lumabas ‘yung tunay na Dawn Macandili.”

The win gave the Philippines the no. 3 seed in Pool E to take on Pool F’s no. 2 squad and defending SEA Games champion Thailand in the knockout crossover quarterfinals Tuesday.

“Malaki ang momentum na nakuha namin kasi siyempre nanalo kami,” said Macandili. “Siguro dapat lang naming panghawakan ang momentum na ito, na huwag kaming maging overconfident going in tomorrow’s game.”

It was a sweet victory for the Pinays after the Vietnamese drubbed PHI, 25-16, 25-21, 25-23, in the group stage to deny the Filipinas a podium finish in the Singapore SEA Games two years ago.

It was doubly sweeter for the first-time national team member Macandili.

Ribbed by ABS-CBN Sports if her cellphone-catching plug for the website helped, Macandili gamely answered, “Hahaha! Siyempre practice ‘yun!”

 

 

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Follow this writer on Twitter, @fromtheriles

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