Macandili replaces Lazaro in SEA Games lineup
KUALA LUMPUR — Dawn Macandili, the 19-year-old newly-acclaimed best libero of Asia, has replaced Denden Lazaro in the lineup for the Southeast Asian Games.
With her no-nonsense defense, Macandili was plucked out of the reserve list to serve as the main foundation of defense of the Philippine women’s volleyball team.
Lazaro has been nursing a hamstring injury since after the team’s exhibition match prior to the Asian Championship in Binan, Laguna.
With a huge following back home, the Philippine women’s volleyball team is counted upon to score as many victories as it can, battling Malaysia on Friday abd Vietnam on Saturday at MITEC Hall 1.
Lazaro and another reserve Kim Dy are with the team which arrived Saturday afternoon here.
Head coach Francis Vicente said they prioritised the health of Lazaro who was among the A-listers in the team brimming with highly popular players like Alyssa Valdez, Aby Marano, Jaja Santiago and team captain Mika Reyes.
“We know how hard she worked and how eager she is in representing the country, but she will be a crucial part of the team in the next few years, we can’t risk it and aggravate her condition,” said Vicente.
Macadili, however, is a wise choice as she just snagged the second best libero award during the Asian Championships where the Philippine ended 8th place out of 14 countries.
Other members of the women’s team are Kim Fajardo, Gen Casugod, Maika Ortiz, Rhea Dimaculangan, Aiza Pontillas, Ces Molina, and Jovelyn Gonzaga.
The Philippines will only have four games, two in the group stages, a game in the semis and a possible match in the finals.
“Every game is important and we need all players to play their hearts out from start to finish,” added Vicente.
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