She wasn’t recruited out of high school, but Dawn Macandili’s now the best

It’s been a busy Saturday for La Salle and F2 Logistics’ ace libero Dawn Macandili.

The PSL is still on break but this didn’t stop Macandili from seeing action—from the sidelines—when she supported her Taft teammates in the UAAP beach volley tournnament before going straight to Adamson University to witness her former team, La Salle-Zobel, see action against powerhouse UST.

Catching the tail-end of Zobel’s 3-set loss to the España crew, Macandili gladly went down memory lane with FOX Sports as she recalled the humble beginnings of her now-flourishing volleyball career.

“Walk-in lang ako nun,” the diminutive volleybelle revealed.

“‘Yung mga kasabayan ko noon sila Kim Dy, si Jaja Santiago. Nung time namin para sa amin laro-laro lang though tough din ang competition,” she added. “Iba na ‘yung competition ngayon. Umaabot na to the point na nagre-recruit na din ng high school players. Nakakatuwa lang na lumaki na siya.”

Not known to many, before NU built a dynasty in the high school division, Zobel managed to complete a rare 3-peat during Macandili’s last tour of duty where she was also awarded as the best libero.

“Nung time namin nung fourth year ako, ang daming nag graduate na key players ng team. Hindi kami masyado nag-expect na magcha-champion kami dahil merong Jaja Santiago ‘yung NU. Nakakatakot ganun kalaki eh,” she reminisced. “Kaya nagulat kami at sobrang sarap nung feeling nung nag champion kami.”

With these accomplishments, it would be easy to assume that the libero was one of the hotly-recruited rookies during her time.

This was not the case, however, as she reveals not even one team attempted to lure her into their respective squads.

“Walang nagre-recruit sa akin na iba. Hindi ko rin alam bakit wala namang lumalapit,” she said.

Fast forward to 2016 and Macandili is now one of the best—if not the best—actively playing libero in the country, notching both the best digger and the best receiver recognitions in Season 78 while making history as the first-ever libero to be awarded as the tournament MVP in the PSL.

Asked if she would have considered an offer had any other team sent out fillers, Macandili answered with a resounding no.

“Kung may lumapit man sold na ako na La Salle ako so wala din. Kilala ko na kasi ang coach dun,” she shared, talking about Ramil de Jesus being at the helm of Zobel in her first year.

Reiterating her allegiance to the green and white, she adds: “Never ko talaga na-imagine na pupunta ako sa ibang school kasi ever since bata pa ako La Salle na ako eh. Talagang pusong La Salle ako.”

Of course the road to being one of the greatest did not come without a hiccup for the Lady Spiker. In her first 2 years with La Salle, her performance left everyone wanting which prompted her to double her effort in training.

Now a master of willing herself to achieve the seemingly impossible, Macandili sent out a few words of wisdom for the young guns of Zobel who are aiming for at least another semis finish in the juniors ranks.

“Push lang dapat. Walang mawawalan ng loob. Hindi lang ‘to labanan ng skills. Labanan ‘to ng puso. Dapat strong ‘yung heart nila para sa paglalaro,” she closed. — By Mac Dionisio