MANILA, Philippines – For the first time in nearly a decade, Choco Mucho star Maddie Madayag will not have middle blocker partner-in-crime Bea de Leon by her side on a volleyball court.
In one of many shocking moves made in a wild PVL off-season, the Flying Titans captain jumped ship to the team that knocked off Choco Mucho in its first franchise finals appearance, the dynastic Creamline Cool Smashers.
Madayag, though, savored the idea of going face-to-face with her great friend and longtime teammate once PVL hostilities begin with the 2024 All-Filipino Conference on February 20.
“I’ve been with Bea since my first year. We’ve really been together. But we’re happy that she found a new home with Creamline,” she said in Filipino. “We know that she will learn a lot more and she will grow more as a person.”
“It’s going to be different playing against her because my whole career – both of our careers – we’ve been together in one team, so there. Let’s just see what happens in the games,” Madayag added during an Allianz sponsorship event graced by both sister teams.
From UAAP Season 77 in 2015 until Season 81 in 2019, both Madayag and De Leon imposed their height and might at the nets and honed their skills together as Ateneo Blue Eagles, winning two championships in the process and a Finals MVP for De Leon in her final year.
The fearsome duo then jumped to the club scene together with the 2019 inception of Choco Mucho as the Rebisco company’s second volleyball team, and endured all the growing pains of a fledgling squad, including multiple failed attempts at earning an elusive PVL podium finish.
Madayag and De Leon’s joint career paths eventually drifted apart at the end of the 2023 Second All-Filipino Conference following a breakthrough silver-medal finish.
Now on opposite sides of the taraflex, the two standouts will continue bringing out their winning mentality with their respective teams – both still expected to contend for championships in the near future.
This time around, only one may reach the top at a time, and it remains to be seen who will get the last laugh over the other first. – Rappler.com