Dawn Macandili and Majoy Baron have been making waves in the international scene since the two started donning the tricolors of the Philippines.
Macandili captured the Best Libero award in the second leg of the ASEAN Grand Prix at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Laguna. Meanwhile, Baron, who was hailed the Best Middle Blocker in Thailand during the opening leg, duplicated the feat — this time, on home soil.
“Siyempre, happy,” Baron, who averaged 6.7 points and 2.3 kill blocks per game, gushed moment after the awarding. “International team naman pa rin ito eh, kahit nasa Pilipinas tayo.
“Masaya kasi nakuha dito sa country natin.”
In perspective, though, Macandili and Baron have a common denominator in Ramil De Jesus.
Dating back from their collegiate years, the products of De La Salle University have played under the veteran mentor, who has upheld defense as his system’s pièce de résistance.
Given their tutelage under one of the brightest minds in the local volleyball landscape, Macandili attributed her floor coverage — as well as Baron’s blocking — to her longtime mentor.
“Siyempre ‘yung foundation nandoon,” the fleet-footed defensive specialist, who normed 5.4 excellent digs per set, bared.
“Lahat ng itinuro ni Coach Ramil sa amin, inaalala lang din namin.”
Macandili also credited national team tactician Shaq Delos Santos, who has guided the Philippine delegates starting from the time he took the coaching reins last year.
“Siyempre sa bagong coach namin, ina-absorb din namin. Open kami sa [constructive] criticisms and sa mga bagong itinuturo ni coach Shaq sa amin,” she said.
Still, as fulfilling as awards are, Macandili asserted that she isn’t aiming for recognition. All she wanted to do was support the rest of the Filipina spikers to the best of her abilities.
“Hindi, focused lang ako sa team and [kung] paano ako makakatulong sa team,” admitted Macandili when asked if she expected the plum.
Moreover, Macandili believes that there is still plenty of room for improvement despite being the finest libero in the four-nation tournament.
“Marami pa akong lapses, mas marami pa akong gustong itulong sa team. Patuloy kong i-improve ang sarili ko and magtatrabaho pa ako sa training para makatulong pa ako sa team,” she confided.