To say that donning the tricolors for the first time is a dream come true is an understatement–at least for Maddie Madayag.
Debuting for the Philippine national women’s volleyball team in the recently concluded 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix, the 5-foot-11 middle blocker made sure she proved her worth to represent the country.
The former Ateneo Lady Eagle made waves with her breakthrough performance in their opening game against Indonesia, manning the middle with former UAAP rival Majoy Baron.
— John Paul Carpina (@engrcarpina) September 20, 2019
Their collective efforts were rewarded as they finished third in the tournament’s first leg, taking one win against Vietnam for a 1-2 slate.
Despite her notable showing, the Choco Mucho team captain admitted she needed time to adjust with the national team as she and other Premier Volleyball League players arrived late in their training camp.
“I just got to the team, so pagkadating ko doon, medyo ano na sila kasi they’ve been training for a while na. Seventeen days sila–kami nila Eya, eight days lang,” Madayag said.
— Volleyball Center (@VolleyCenterPH) September 20, 2019
She thanked head coach Shaq Delos Santos for giving her the opportunity to step into the court, teaming up with national team veterans Jia Morado, Mylene Paat, Dawn Macandili, and fellow newcomers Kalei Mau and Alohi Robins-Hardy, among others.
“I was very lucky na pinasok ako ni Coach Shaq kasi nga bago pa rin ako sa sistema niya. It’s a different system e, palipat-lipat, and I’m just happy na nakapag-adjust naman ako nang maayos sa system niya,” the middle blocker said.
— VolleyNationPH 🏐🇵🇭 (@VolleyNationPH) September 20, 2019
Madayag further relished her time playing with the tricolor squad and against other international teams, saying the experience helped her realize how much she’s still capable of doing.
“The experience was something else talaga. It’s different e–internationally, malakas talaga ‘yung mga players,” Madayag said.
“Makikita mo na meron pa palang mas kayang pwede kong gawin. Mga matured sila mag-isip; pati mga teammates ko, you can see na sine-set aside nila ‘yung previous systems nila,” she added.
With the first leg over, Madayag is back in the country and helped the Flying Titans clinch their fourth win in the 2019 PVL Open Conference last Wednesday.
The national team looks to bag a better standing in the upcoming second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix happening from October 4 to 6 in Santa Rosa, Laguna.