As the Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) All Filipino Conference 2019 championship looms large, the rightful recipients of the individual awards are also feeding the excitement of the volleyball aficionados.
It has been a great show of individual skills all throughout the all-local tourney, which ends less than a week from now with either F2 Logistics or Cignal as champions.
With no further ado, FOX Sports PH presents the possible Dream Team of the PSL All Filipino Conference 2019.
BEST OUTSIDE HITTERS
Most teams, if not all, rely on their outside hitters — the first option for offense and the typical source of points. PSL has a pool of talented left side spikers, but these two stood out this conference.
F2 Logistics scored big when it secured the services of Kalei Mau, the ex-United Volleyball Club stalwart who has been turning a lot of heads since her debut in the league last year.
Leading the Cargo Movers to a second-seed finish in the prelims en route to their seventh straight Finals appearance, Mau scattered 231 points in the prelims and another 33 markers in the quarters and semis.
— Philippine SuperLiga Volleyball (@SuperLigaPH) August 21, 2019
Emerging as the top scorer of the conference with 17.60 points per match, the Fil-Hawaiin tower is touting with a 33.14 percent spiking efficiency on top of 11.67 digs per game and average 31.51 percent receiving efficiency.
At 31, Cignal’s Rachel Ann Daquis still emerges as one of the top outside hitters in a tournament that has young pool composed of Sisi Rondina, Gretchel Soltones, and Ara Galang.
The HD Spikers skipper was consistent from the get-go, providing 16.33 markers each game on a 33.26 percent conversion rate. She also helped in the reception department with 32.92 receiving efficiency.
Cignal forces Petron to a do or die on Thursday as they win the match in 5 sets!
— VolleyNationPH 🏐🇵🇭 (@VolleyNationPH) August 20, 2019
With her numbers and leadership, Cignal ousted Generika Ayala in the quarterfinals, outlasted and dethroned Petron in the semis and returned to the Finals stage after two years.
BEST MIDDLE BLOCKERS
But while most points usually come from the wings, the conference is also brimming with powerful middle blockers.
Leading the pack is Jaja Santiago of Foton Tornadoes, who returned to the semifinals after three conferences.
The top-scoring middle blocker, Santiago registered 265 points from the prelims up to the semis, averaging team-high 16.56 points per match.
— Philippine SuperLiga Volleyball (@SuperLigaPH) August 15, 2019
With a whopping 41.20 percent success rate in spikes, the Japan-trained blocker averaged 2.69 blocks per game, solidifying her status as the top middle in the field.
Providing formidable wall at the net, Majoy Baron has been reliable for the Cargo Movers as well.
Baron is tied with co-national team player Santiago in terms of blocks as she also averaged 2.69 denials per match.
— Philippine SuperLiga Volleyball (@SuperLigaPH) August 13, 2019
Aside from manning the net, the La Salle alum also produce numbers through offense as she averages 8.94 points per game, serving as F2 Logistics’ third best scorer.
The last time Philippine volleyball saw a dominant Dindin Santiago-Manabat was in 2015 before she took a hiatus due to pregnancy followed by a sorry knee injury in 2017.
Since then, all eyes have been on the recovery of the National University standout, who, at her prime, was arguably the best middle blocker in the country.
— TwoCityTrails🏐 (@TwoCityTrails) August 1, 2019
But two years later after that injury, now playing as an opposite, Santiago-Manabat seemed to be close to regaining her old, lethal form following her current PSL performance.
In 16 games played, Santiago-Manabat has accumulated 257 points — third most in the tourney — for an average 16.06 markers per outing. Her spike efficiency was also impressive as she registered a 34.29 percent conversion rate.
The heart of a team is the setter, and Rhea Dimaculangan has yet again pumped life to Petron’s offense with her veteran playmaking.
The reigning Most Valuable Player dished out an average 22.82 excellent sets per match, unleashing the beasts out of Ces Molina, Aiza Maizo-Pontillas, Bernadeth Pons and Rondina, and making Mika Reyes and Remy Palma look deadly.
— VolleyNationPH 🏐🇵🇭 (@VolleyNationPH) July 18, 2019
Dimaculangan arguably had a hand as three Blaze Spikers averaged in double figures — Rondina, Molina and Pons — whilst Reyes, Maizo-Pontillas and Palma also provide good numbers.
Also notable, though, was Alohi Robins-Hardy’s scoring stats. The Cignal setter-spiker averaged nine points per match, making her the best scoring setter in the tournament, on top of 20 average excellent sets per game.
It was a close fight between F2 Logistics’ Dawn Macandili and Cignal’s Jheck Dionela, but the former emerged as the better libero by a small difference.
While Dionela registered 20.19 digs per match and average 48.37 percent receiving efficiency, Macandili managed 20.88 digs per outing and 46.92 percent success rate in reception.
dawn macandili showing us again why she’s the one of asia’s finest liberos ✊🏻💚 pic.twitter.com/XYDin789HA
— ً (@lovestaft) June 18, 2019
The five-time PSL Best Libero reached a career-high when she scattered 43 digs during the Cargo Movers’ five-set conquest of Generika Ayala.
Stats from Vball DB
(Image from Facebook/Philippine SuperLiga)