MANILA, Philippines – On Thursday night, Maddie Madayag went back to the taraflex for the first time in more than a year since she tore her left ACL.
The middle blocker, who stands 5 feet 11 inches tall, sustained her injury on August 11, 2021, in Bacarra, Ilocos Norte, during Game One of the bronze medal series of the Premier Volleyball League Open Conference.
In the victory over PLDT in the 2022 Reinforced Conference that Choco Mucho earned with scores of 25 to 27, 25 to 22, 18 to 25, 25 to 22, and 17 to 15, Madayag was twice inserted to play.
“Syempre [of course] I’m happy and at the same time excited, I get to play inside with the team again. Grateful din ako na [I am also grateful] all that hard work nung one-year akong out naging worth it naman, [all the hard work I had when I got out for a year is all worth it] said the 2018 PVL Open Conference 1st Best Middle Blocker.
“Even though serving lang yung ginawa ko malaking bagay na rin yun [although it is just the serve, I did, it’s a big thing]. Lahat naguumpisa sa serve [everyone starts at serving] at least I get to help the team in any way I can,” added Madayag, who had a serving stint during the third and fifth sets.
Oliver Almadro, the head coach of the Flying Titans, is thrilled that Madayag is returning. This is due to the fact that her role goes beyond the number of game-related points she can accumulate.
Almadro said, “Everyone knows that their Ate Maddie is there because Maddie is a fighter and a leader, so malaking bagay sa amin yung albeit natalo kami nung third set malaking bagay na [it is a big deal for us that in albeit in the third set we lost].
“We needed her at that time. “We needed a leader,” the bench tactician said, referring to the 25 to 18 third period that High Speed Hitters took.
“Kasi yun naman yung pinapractice niya ngayon dahil hindi siya nakakatalon [for that is what we practice for, so it is not a destiny]. She serves a lot; she defenses a lot so I’m trusting her in that kind of situation, and she’s been there. Alam niya yung ganong mga crucial moment. [She knows the crucial moments]”
Madayag herself, however, was the first to warn against having high hopes for her return to the volleyball court because she is still recovering from her injury.
She will, however, always be prepared to step up when the team needs her, in whatever position they may need her, be it as a server, a defense expert, or simply someone to rally the Titans.
She stated, “I truly embraced my job for this conference, which is not to play but to support the team in whatever way I can, like in service if kailangan ng serve and defense sa likod,'”
“I’m always prepared to play if the coach says, “Coach, you’ve got me ready to go,” said the player.