LIBEROS used to be considered as just members of the supporting cast to the superstar spikers and setters.
Dawn Macandili turned that notion on its head as she virtually dominated the 2016 Philippine Super Liga All Filipino Conference with her impeccable passing and fearless dives and digs to lead the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers to the PSL throne by overpowering the Foton Tornadoes, 18-25, 25-18, 25-21, 25-19, in the deciding third game of the championship.
Macandili was named best libero and also garnered the Most Valuable Player award.
A libero hardly scores points and is never a candidate for MVP honors.
It is a defensive specialist position and was added to the game of indoor volleyball in 1999 along with a set of special rules for play in an effort to make the game more exciting.
The libero is hardly noticed in a game by spectators although responsible for a much greater area of the court than the other members of the team.
The libero is usually the smallest player in the team. It is the libero’s main responsibility to pass the ball well so the team can properly run the offense. The libero does not have responsibilities for offense. He or she just chases down every ball.
All throughout the conference, Macandili made teammates look good with her superb passes and serve-receives as she readied the ball for offense.
With her efforts, veteran teammates like Aby Marano, Ara Galang and Kim Fajardo were able to play their game well.
“I was really surprised to win the award because liberos never win the award (MVP),” said the 20-year-old Macandili, who is entering her third year with the La Salle Lady Spikers.
She got into volleyball when one of her batchmates in De La Salle-Lipa invited her to join. She started playing as a utility spiker.
It was when she began playing for La Salle Zobel in high school when she made the switch to libero.
She and teammate Kim Dy powered the Junior Lady Spikers to three consecutive high school titles from 2010 to 2013. This made Dy and Macandili two of the hottest recruits to the collegiate ranks when they left La Salle Zobel.
Macandili eventually joined De La Salle University in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines under coach Ramil De Jesus who also brought her along to the F2 Logistics squad in the PSL.
F2 Logistics spikers Cha Cruz, Mika Reyes, Ara Galang, Aby Marano and setter Kim Fajardo may have scored the points to tow the F2 Logistics Cargo Movers team past the Foton Tornadoes to win their first PSL title.
But it was only made possible because of the impeccable serve-receive and passing skills of their dominant libero, Macandili.
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