De La Salle University libero Dawn Macandili is most often the smallest player on the court. Even in a La Salle team that prides itself on height and blocking, the five-foot defensive Lady Spiker makes the most impact on defense and, literally, on the floor.
Against the Far Eastern University, La Salle needed all of Macandili’s relentless play. The Lady Tamaraws came alive late in the match and forced a fifth set. The graduating defensive ace shut down the Lady Tamaraws’ offense with consecutive daredevil saves that keyed La Salle’s win.
Aside from her superb conditioning and cat-like reflexes, Macandili is fueled by the Lady Spiker pride that stems from their two decades of UAAP supremacy.
“Sinabi ni coach Ramil (De Jesus) na, kahit dumikit ‘yung laban, pinakita namin ‘yung character namin as a team and and as a Lady Spiker na hindi bumibitaw,” the 21-year-old said after producing 34 digs and 13 excellent receptions from 24 attempts.
Macandili has also adapted to the team’s needs. The Lady Spikers are still adjusting to life with new setter Michelle Cobb. The 2016 PSL All-Filipino Conference Most Valuable Player knows she plays a huge part in Cobb’s development, as she delivers most of La Salle’s first touches.
“Most of the first balls will be coming from me, so responsibility and duty ko ‘yun as a player inside the court na maitaas ‘yung bola sa setter para maka-atake nang maayos,” Macandili expressed.
The second Best Libero during the 2017 Asian Women’s Volleyball Championship is stacked with gut-wrenching responsibilities and deprived of any of the glitz and adoration of the spiker positions.
Macandili, of course, doesn’t mind any of that. The most important thing for a Lady Spiker, after all, is to get a win.
“Recently, na-adapat ko ‘yung mantra na pahabain ‘yung pasensya ko. Bago ‘yung setter namin, siyempre, nag-aadjust pa siya. Kailangan ako maging consistent para ma-feel niya ‘yung bola, makuha niya ‘yung momentum and confidence niya as a setter.”