The Year of Majoy Baron

One can say that a player is having the time of her career when, at least in a year or two, he or she amassed either individual awards or league championships left and right.

For middle blocker Majoy Baron, it was a combination of both this 2019.

Baron recently added another feather to her already decorated cap.

Following yet another stellar performance, the 24-year old tower was named Most Valuable Player, as well as 1st Best Middle Blocker, in the recently-concluded 2019 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) Invitationals Cup.

This, with her back-to-back Best Middle Blocker win in the first and second leg of the 2019 ASEAN Grand Prix still fresh in the mind of the Filipino volleyball aficionados.

As if her accolades weren’t impressive enough, Baron has also racked up a whopping total of five medals this year so far: two gold and a silver in the PSL and two bronze in the international arena.

These have all happened in a span of less than two months.

Continuously proving her case, Baron has solidified her status as one of the country’s best middle blocker today, even arguably next to Jaja Santiago.

No, she is not the most lethal attacker in terms of power, and no, she is not as athletic as the other volleyball players. But what probably separates her from her co-athletes was her perseverance.

It is almost cruel not to mention Baron’s humble beginnings before her continuous rise.

Her climb to the top could be traced back to when she was still a lesser known figure to most fans six years ago prior to her UAAP stint with De La Salle University.

Baron’s name wasn’t as well-known as Kim Dy’s or Dawn Macandili’s nor was she as highly-recruited as high school standout Des Cheng — all of whom have made names for themselves during their high school careers.

But coach Ramil de Jesus, architect of the Lady Spikers’ champion program, saw something from the tall, lanky spiker who represented CLRAA in the Palarong Pambansa. That something was enough to guarantee her a spot in the Season 76 lineup.

Packed with determination to prove herself worthy to be part of the elite squad that will eventually win three-peat championship during her tenure, Baron emerged as a one-time UAAP Best Blocker and MVP — the last player from Taft to win both plums.

Since then, the 5-foot-11 tower has turned heads in the semi-pro league suiting up for F2 Logistics, and, now, in the international arena following her ASEAN Grand Prix stint with the national team.

Baron is not the first, nor she will be the last, to successfully wade through a sea of doubts and challenges and become a top-notch player.

Nevertheless, young, aspiring athletes could somehow look into her story and learn a thing or two about investing hardwork, dedication and heart to the sports.

They can learn from her growth.

They can learn from the challenges she overcame.

They can learn from the best.

Baron looks to finish her rather fruitful year on a high, and hopefully with another medal, when she don the tricolors anew in the forthcoming 2019 Southeast Asian Games to be held here next month.

(Images from F2 Logistics Cargo Movers/Twitter @DefenderDlsu)