Entering their last UAAP Finals, senior Lady Spikers Majoy Baron, Kim Dy and Dawn Macandili are extremely motivated to finish their collegiate careers with a third-straight title.
Their 5-year stint with the team had its share of ups and downs. They hardly saw action in their rookie season when the Lady Spikers went on a 14-0 sweep of the elimination round only to lose to Ateneo in the finals. The following year, they experienced another painful loss to the Lady Eagles as they were swept in the championship series.
Come their third year, things started to go their way as they finally got to be part of the team’s regular rotation. As the team successfully recaptured the UAAP crown, Dy had her breakout season as she was named the best player in the finals.
Last year, Baron emerged to bag the season’s Most Valuable Player award. Macandili on the other hand has won several best libero citations not only in the UAAP, but in other commercial and international tournaments as well.
They want nothing less than to graduate on top.
“Siguro this is our chance to bring back the three-peat and siyempre lahat ng sacrifices namin, lahat ng pinaghirapan namin, ito na ‘yung final test namin,” said Dy. “Siyempre we want to show coach na sa five years naman dito, these are the players that you produced. We want to honor him,” she added.
Macandali said: “Siyempre, last playing year namin, gusto namin maging maganda ang exit namin, and siyempre gusto naming i-alay to kay coach, kasi wala naman kami dito kun’di dahil sa kanya.”
Baron, who’s the current team captain, said she doesn’t want La Salle’s title streak to end during her time. “Ako, personally, motivation ko ‘yun. Ayaw kong masira ‘yung record ni coach,” she said. “Sobrang nabilib din ako sa sistema niya at mga seniors ko before, parang ayaw ko na puputulin ko ‘yung history na ginagawa nila sa time ko ngayon.”
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For Coach Ramil De Jesus, this will be his 10th straight finals appearance and 18th in 20 seasons with the team. Now just two wins away from his 11th title, he insists that nothing has changed in all the years that he handled the team and he credits the players for their determination to win.
When asked about the three seniors, De Jesus revealed that he has shared emotional moments with them particularly Dy and Macandili since he was also their coach during their high school days in DLSZ.
“So ‘di maiiwasan na… eto medyo mababa ang luha ng isa diyan eh [Kim Dy], so, naiiyak na nga kapag ganun na nababalikan ‘yung mga memories, so ‘yun lang kasi medyo matagal ang pinagsamahan kasi,” recalled De Jesus.
The Lady Spikers will face FEU for the championship which starts this Saturday.