De Jesus saw nothing special in KD, MJ, Dawn early in their careers. Look at them now
La Salle coach Ramil de Jesus and Dawn Macandili share a hug after the victory. Dante Peralta

WHEN Ramil de Jesus first took Dawn Macandili, Kim Kiana Dy and Joy Baron under his wings, he knew that he has work cut out for him.

Years later, here they are, forever etched in La Salle’s history.

“Sa totoo lang, nung nakita ko sila (Dy, Baron), height lang nakita ko. Ito naman (Dawn) di ko pinapansin,” said De Jesus smiling after the graduating trio led the Lady Spikers to a third straight UAAP women's volleyball championship - and 11th overall.

“Alam ko sasakit ulo ko sa pagtuturo. Bihira yung dumadating sa akin na players na very talented. Hard worker itong mga to kaya umangat level nila,” he added.

Dy finished with 18 points on 16 attacks, Baron shone at the net with 10 points while Macandili was all over the court defending on the way to being named the Finals MVP.

The three sure have come a long way.

“Dumating si Dawn, masipag lang. Ito naman si Kianna, athletic kasi e. Si Joy tangkad lang talaga. Pero very thankful ako sa na-reach nila ngayon. Mapunta sila sa national team or sa ano mang team sila mapunta, deserve nila yun.”

He’s just as thankful for all the times that they spent together, particularly with Macandili and Dy who he handled since the two were in high school.

“Mas matagal ko pa yata kasama to sa family ko e. Buong week kasama ko sila. Then umuuwi ako ng weekends, mas kilala ko sila. Mas attached kami sa isa’t isa. Sa pagtulog na lang siguro kami nagkakahiwalay e. Ganun kami ka-close,” said de Jesus with a smile.

While the departure of the trio will definitely be a big blow to La Salle, de Jesus is certain the next volleyball heroes in Taft are just waiting to be given the chance.

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“Every year naman may mawawala. Kung meron magtitiyaga mag-step up ganun naman lagi 'yun. In my 20 years, laging may nawawala at laging may nag-step up."

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