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Steady Carmel Saga keys La Salle’s big win over Ateneo

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Tiebreaker Times Steady Carmel Saga keys La Salle's big win over Ateneo DLSU News UAAP Volleyball  UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball UAAP Season 81 DLSU Women's Volleyball Carmel Saga

Carmel Saga is aware that she may never reach the mystique of Dawn Macandili, the National Team libero she replaced in La Salle’s starting rotation.

“‘Pag iniisip ko ‘yun, the more akong mawawala. I will never be Dawn Macandili. There will never be another Dawn Macandili,” the 23-year-old defensive specialist said.

“I just have to play my game and do my responsibilities well.”

Still, Saga’s been consistently strong as the Lady Spikers’ defensive ace, ranking eighth in digging at 3.87 digs per set and sixth in receiving with a 41.18-percent clip.

It was also no surprise that Saga’s best personal game coincided with La Salle’s most convincing win. The Dumaguete-native fortified La Salle’s defense and reception in their big win over the Ateneo de Manila University. She tallied 21 digs and fielding 14 excellent receptions in 19 attempts.

Tiebreaker Times Steady Carmel Saga keys La Salle's big win over Ateneo DLSU News UAAP Volleyball  UAAP Season 81 Women's Volleyball UAAP Season 81 DLSU Women's Volleyball Carmel Saga

“Kanina, inisip lang namin is we just have to play our game and ‘wag silang payagan kunin kung ‘yung sa amin.

“‘Yun ‘yung palaging nire-remind ng coaching staff, ng mga brothers, na we shouldn’t allow anyone to take what’s ours,” the product of Siliman University told Tiebreaker Times.

So far, Saga has had some ups-and-downs, but has found ways to snap out of her funks.

“Honestly, roller coaster kasi there are games na I’m shaky. There are games na I’m off; then there are games na okay ako. This season, inisasaisip at inisasapuso ko lang na I’m here for a reason: to help my team. Hindi lang pangsarili, but to get that four-peat for the community,” the La Salle senior emphasized.

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Saga is fueled by what every Lady Spiker eventually learns to feed off – the pride that comes with playing for Ramil De Jesus.

“‘Pag sinabi mong Lady Spiker, nakakabit ‘yun kay coach Ramil. When you play with pride, you play for him.”

Miguel Luis Flores fell face first into sports writing in high sch9l and has never gotten up. He reluctantly stumbled into the volleyball beat when he started with Tiebreaker Times three years ago. Now, he has waded through everything volleyball - from its icky politics to the post-modern art that is Jia Morado's setting.

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