ATENEO sophomore Maddie Madayag and converted libero Gizelle Tan were quick to make a mark after their promotion from role players to starters in the UAAP Season 78 women’s volleyball tournament.
The Lady Eagles, riding a 19-game win streak that dates back to the last two championship games in Season 76, got significant contributions from Madayag and Tan in their impressive win over National University 25-21, 25-19, 25-14, on Sunday at The Arena in San Juan.
Used sparingly last season, the 5-foot-10 Madayag scored 13 points on five spikes, five blocks and three service aces while former setter Tan had nine excellent receptions as she took the place of defense specialist Denden Lazaro as libero.
“(Si) Gyzelle before, naglaro kami here setter pa siya and now entering here sa San Juan Arena libero na siya. The adjustment from a setter to libero is really hard, alam niya kung gaano kahirap mag-set ng walang receive. Sobrang hard working ng mga batang ‘yan eh,” said team captain Alyssa Valdez.
“Maddie (is) such a talent ‘di ba? Skills wise, height wise, nasa kanya na eh. Sana magtuluy-tuloy lang and sobrang nandoon ‘yung consistency and connection nila ni Jia (Morado, Ateneo setter),” she added.
Despite making an impression on their back-to-back MVP teammate, Madayag deflected credit and instead insisted that it was a team effort that got them the win.
“Teamwork talaga and dapat alam namin ang gagawin namin and si coach Tai (Bundit) din talaga tinuturuan kami kung kunyari sinong iba-block,” said the middle blocker out of Davao Christian High School.
“I just did my best,” she added. “We train twice a day naman every day so wala namang expectations so kapag naka-score, ‘yun celebrate kami.”