No stopping Maddie Madayag as Ateneo forces title decider

In the final stretch of her UAAP career, Maddie Madayag refuses to go down without a fight.

Madayag and the Ateneo de Manila University Lady Eagles made sure to live another day as they overpowered the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Golden Tigresses in four sets, 26-24, 14-25, 25-21, 25-15, earlier in Game Two of the UAAP Season 81 women’s volleyball title series at the Mall of Asia Arena.

After an underwhelming performance in Game One, the Lady Eagles showed character and went back to playing their usual game, achieving victory and successfully extending the series to a winner-take-all game.

Madayag made certain she would not play her final game today, stepping up big time with 17 points against UST to spearhead Ateneo anew.

With their backs against the wall, the graduating middle blocker came into Game Two with nothing but triumph on her mind, erasing the thoughts of today being their last day in the UAAP.

“Of course, pumapasok talaga sa isip namin na it might be our last, pero cino-cross out namin agad. Lalaban talaga kami–we will not go down without a fight,” Madayag said.

After a lopsided second set where UST displayed offensive prowess over Ateneo, the game saw a change in complexion after rookie Eya Laure went down with an injury in the opening part of the third set.

Despite the unfortunate moment, Madayag said the Lady Eagles kept in mind not to get distracted by the incident and continue playing their game.

“It’s never nice to see any player go down with an injury, kasi a bunch of us have been injured din and we know how it feels. We pray for Eya’s speedy recovery,” Madayag said.

 

“But then again, we’re in the finals–hindi na pwedeng isali yung emotions na ganyan. We need to focus on ourselves and as a team,” she added.

After winning the third set amid a late comeback by the Tigresses, the Lady Eagles ultimately dominated in the fourth set as their opponents lost their rhythm, taking their title rivalry to a winner-take-all Game Three.

The middle blocker commended her team for a job well done today, describing their performance earlier as one of the best games they’ve ever played.

Madayag added that the Lady Eagles only need to continue working as one unit and follow their game plan in order to subdue UST and give their school its third championship in the league.

“I think this game, we really played our best–we really worked as a team, and every point we gave to the Lord,” Madayag said.

 

“Teamwork lang–wala namang makakatalo sa amin if we play happy and if we follow what Coach O wants us to do,” she added.

Madayag and the Lady Eagles look to end their UAAP season with a title as they clash with the Tigresses one last time this coming Saturday.

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