MANILA, Philippines – Maddie Madayag returns a year after her ACL injury, helping Choco Mucho in her own way to complete a five-set victory over PLDT in the Premier League Volleyball League Consolidation Conference on Thursday at the Philsports Arena.
Madayag, who suffered a finish tearing ACL in the left knee in a battle for third place against Petro Gazz in the 2021 PVL bubble in Ilocos Norte, finally made her much-anticipated return for Choco Mucho and fit in the third and fifth sets. years, where she has good service and has some tackles and touches.
“I am happy and at the same time excited to play with the team again. I am also grateful that all my hard work in one year (absence) was worth it,” Madayag said later. Choco Mucho’s 25-27, 25-22, 18-25, 25-22, 17-15 win overcame the PLDT for a second straight win in three games.
“Even though all I did was serve, it still had a huge impact on our team because everything starts with a serve. At least I can help the team in any way I can,” Madayag said.
Choco Mucho coach Oliver Almadro said using Madayag wasn’t just about inspiring her teammates, as he believed the Flying Titans needed her leadership and service.
“We needed her that time. We need a leader. That’s what she does in reality, she serves a lot and she protects a lot. I trusted her in that situation and she was there. She knows what to do in critical moments not to give our team the morale boost we need during those times,” Almadro said.
“As a coach, I really have to give her some playing time until she feels she is ready. As you can see in the foreground, she is slowly getting her touches. Maddie is a warrior, she is also a leader. Even though we lost the third set, her presence made a huge impact on people knowing Maddie ate theirs there,” he added.
Kat Tolentino, who scored 16 points, including clutch shots in the fourth set, was delighted to play with Madayag again.
“Of course, it’s great that she hasn’t been with us for over a year. For me it’s like a throwback since I played with her at Ateneo,” said Tolentino, who has been teammates with Madayag since college. “It is great to see her back and recovering from her ACL injury. And just seeing her on court shows how hard work is paying off. I’m happy for her. We are excited for more to come. “
Although she’s back, Madayag said she’ll have a limited role in this Fortified Conference as she’s still recovering and reconnecting with her teammates.
“I actually accepted my role for this conference, it was not to play but to support the team in any way I could like in service and protection. My coaches also don’t put too much pressure on me because they know I need to take time for my recovery,” she said. “I’ve been training again with my team for only two months so I need more experience after a long hiatus.”
Almadro praised Madayag’s perseverance in training as she passed right ACL tear in 2016 and helped Lady Eagles win the UAAP championship in 2019, the same year she played for the Philippines women’s volleyball team at the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
“We encourage her to keep trying in practice and she always tells us she can do it. So when you hear that from a player, she’s been an inspiration to many athletes after that injury, she’s back and she’s really looking forward to playing and helping the team. ,” said the Flying Titans coach.
Celebrity Ateneo couldn’t tell her recovery rate but when her number was called, she was ready to help Choco Mucho.
“I am always ready to play when the coach calls my number. I will always be available,” Madayag said.
Register INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer and more than 70 other titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to news, download as early as 4am and share media articles society. Call 896 6000.