MANILA, Philippines — Fit-again Maddie Madayag attributed her stellar 2023 season debut to coach Dante Alinsunurin’s trust and system in Choco Mucho’s 25-15, 25-20, 25-20 win over Akari in the All-Filipino Conference opener on Saturday at Smart Araneta Coliseum.
Madayag, who suffered a left ACL injury last August 2021 during the PVL Open Conference Bacarra bubble, shone in her first start and full game as she led the way with 11 points, hitting nine of her 12 spike attempts on top of one block and an ace.
The 5-foot-11 middle blocker, who only played as a service specialist in her brief return in the Reinforced Conference, thanked their new coach for giving her an opportunity to redeem herself after more than one year of recovery.
“I’m not thinking of the [Player of the Game]. Of course, I want to contribute to my team in any way I can [like] blocking and leading the team. The POG is just a plus point,” said Madayag in Filipino.
“It means that the system that coach Dante wants us to apply is working,” she added.
Madayag scored five of her 11 points in the final stretch of the third set to give Alinsunurin a winning debut.
Although she starred in their first game, Madayag said the team is still learning Alinsunurin’s system.
“I feel that we haven’t fully adapted our new system. We still have a lot to learn and we can apply [ coach Dante’s teachings] to ourselves more. The best is yet to come,” she said.
Madayag said she’s feeling good after recovering from her second knee injury in the 2022 season and she hopes they can sustain their momentum to finally reach their goal to make it to the PVL podium.
“Everyone has an open mind to learn our new system. Of course, it’s our own sake. We’re happy that we’re learning a lot and we’re able to apply it in this game,” she said.
Choco Mucho faces Petro Gazz, coached by its former tactician Oliver Almadro, on Thursday at FilOil EcoOIl Centre in San Juan.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.