Championships usually follow wherever Rhea Dimaculangan goes. This may sound like an exaggeration, but the facts beg to differ.
The 28-year old playmaker is a multi-time champion may it be in the collegiate division or in the semi-pro ranks.
In 2010, Dimaculangan towed the University of Sto. Tomas to its 16th — and last — UAAP championship. This, aside from UST”s title runs outside the highly-vaunted collegiate league.
She continued weaving magic post-UAAP.
The Batangas joined Philippine Air Force and led them to several Finals appearances before transferring to Foton Tornadoes in 2016.
At the time, Foton was composed of young Jaja Santiago, Sisi Rondina and EJ Laure with veterans Maika Ortiz, Patty Orendain, and Angeli Araneta. For any setter, running a team as talented as the Tornadoes is a daunting task, but not for Dimaculangan.
The decorated setter powered Foton to a silver medal finish in the 2016 Philippine SuperLiga (PSL) All Filipino Conference. One conference later, she and the Tornadoes were hailed back-to-back Grand Prix champs.
Dimaculangan then brought her talents to Petron, who made a big recruitment coup at the time with Mika Reyes, Bernadeth Pons, Bang Pineda, and Rondina.
It was a success right off the bat as the Blazers won four PSL championships under Dimaculangan’s tenure.
Dimaculangan, as backed by her credentials, is a gem of a setter who could arguably bring any team she plays for to any heights.
And now, her next project is Generika Ayala.
The former Petron setter will be Lifesavers’ court general for the 2020 PSL season, starting in the upcoming Grand Prix this month.
It was nothing but a big score for Generika.
Volleysavers, you’ve waited long enough!
Join us in welcoming Rhea Dimaculangan, Mina Aganon, & Eli Soyud to the team!
We’d also like to welcome PT Lou Regiror into the fold!
Welcome to the Generika Ayala Lifesavers family, girls! Here’s to an amazing year ahead. 🧡💙 pic.twitter.com/KuhJyMuMq3
— Generika Ayala Lifesavers (@GenerikaAyalaLS) January 7, 2020
Back in 2014, the Lifesavers took the All Filipino Conference by storm behind Tina Salak, MJ Balse, Jovelyn Gonzaga, Nene Bautista and Jacq Alarca en route to their first and only title.
Taking a one-year hiatus, Generika returned in 2016 sans the core of the Philippine Army Lady Troopers. Since, they have been trying — and falling short — to reach the PSL summit anew.
The Lifesavers do not run out of talent. For the past few years, they were always considered as the dark horse of the league posing as a threat to heavyweights Petron and F2 Logistics, both of which they managed to beat at some point.
Generika also had had good setters in the past with Rubie de Leon, Angelica Legacion, and April Ross Hingpit. If anything, the team is almost ripe to win another title — and Dimaculangan might just be the missing piece they have been waiting for.
Dimaculangan is tipped to be the x-factor when the Lifesavers march to the import-laden conference in their bid to halt a six-year title drought.
Out to help Dimaculangan are middle blockers Riri Meneses, Mikaela Lopez and Marlyn Llagoso while Carol Cerveza, Orendain and Araneta and recruits Chin Basas, Mina Aganon and Eli Soyud man the wings.
In charge of the defensive efforts are libero Kath Arado and Bia General as Dimaculangan is billed to activate Cuban import Elizabeth Vicet Campos.
(Photo from Facebook/Philippine SuperLiga)