Maddie Madayag displayed vintage form as she took advantage of the opportunity given to her by new Choco Mucho head coach Dante Alinsunurin.
The middle blocker repaid the trust of Alinsunurin with an impressive outing to lead the Flying Titans to a 25-15, 25-20, 25-20, opening day win over Akari in the Premier Volleyball League All-Filipino Conference on Saturday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Sidelined by a torn anterior cruciate ligament on her left knee during the 2021 Open Conference inside the Bacarra, Ilocos Norte bubble, Madayag waited for almost two years to finally get her starting spot back.
And the middle blocker did not disappoint.
Madayag scored 11 points on an efficient 9-of-12 spiking clip with one kill block and an ace as a starter in all sets.
“I’m very happy na binigyan ako ni Coach Dante ng opportunity to, for my redemption,” the Ateneo de Manila University product said.
After recovering from going under the knife, Madayag saw limited minutes in last year’s Reinforced Conference as a service specialist.
“Kasi ang tagal nu’ng recovery ko and sobrang sakit nu’ng pagkabagsak ko nun and sobrang saya lang na nakabawi ako ngayong game,” Madayag said.
Madayag was particularly effective in frustrating the attackers of the Chargers alongside Bea de Leon.
She shone the most in the tight third set as she scored four points in a blistering 6-1 rally that gave the Flying Titans a 19-15 separation on their way to victory with Madayag taking the player of the game honors.
“Di ko naman iniisip na ‘yung POG, no? Syempre, kahit anong way na I can contribute to the team, gagawin ko naman. Sa blocking, or kung magli-lead man lang ng team, plus points na lang ‘yung POG kasi ibig sabihin mas gumagana ‘yung sistema na gusto i-apply ni Coach Dante sa amin,” Madayag said.
Playing under a new system, the former national team member said that she and the rest of the Flying Titans still have a lot to learn under the Alinsunurin, the architect of the Philippines silver medal in men’s volleyball in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games.
“Feeling ko hindi pa (100 percent) lalo na sa new system na ma-adapt namin. Feeling ko mas marami pa kaming matututunan and mas marami pa kaming ma-apply sa sarili naming,” she said.
“So, siyempre, di lang ako, di lang yung team, di pa 100% so meron pa kaming ibubuga.”