Akari Chargers Nisperos, Madrigal star in Philippines’ win over Macau

Photo credits: AVC Asian Volleyball Cup/ Twitter


Akari Chargers Nisperos, Madrigal star in Philippines’ win over Macau


The Philippines opened its campaign in the 2023 AVC Challengers Cup with a bang, defeating Macau side in straight sets, 25-14, 25-12, 25-9, Monday afternoon in Indonesia.

And giving the Nationals a jolt are members of the Akari Chargers, including head coach Jorge de Brito and a slew of players who were chosen to play for flag and country in this continental tournament.

Akari rookie outside hitter Faith Nisperos and sophomore middle blocker Ezra Madrigal were crucial to the Philippines’ success, with Nisperos providing splendid offense and Madrigal proving her doubters wrong once more with six kill blocks.

After her last UAAP season, the 5-foot-11 Ateneo product is on a mission.

“I wish to unleash the Faith Nisperos of Season 84. Doon ko  kasi naramdaman yung eagerness to go back to playing, to go back to competition,” she told Akari Sports.

“Right now, since I’m back with the National Team, andun yung same determination and perseverance of Season 84 Faith Nisperos.”

In UAAP Season 84, Nisperos was among the league’s best players, scoring a total of 267 points and taking home the 2nd Best Outside Spiker award while leading the Blue Eagles to a Final Four finish.

She went neck-and-neck with Eya Laure in the Best Scorer race until the last day of the elimination round and also was in the top five of spiking (fifth, 34.86%) and serving (second, 0.43/set) for the season.

Now that she’s back on national team duty, Nisperos hopes to help the team by sharing her familiarity with De Brito’s system, similar to what Madrigal aims to bring to the table.

As someone who was unable to play in a UAAP season, Madrigal has come a long way. And in her first match donning the national colors, she proved that she belongs.

The 5-foot-11 quicker set the tone for the Philippines’ defense and she says lessons learned from the Chargers were crucial to getting her prepared in this international competition.

“Of course, andun yung pressure, especially first time ko dito,” she shared. “(Pero what I learned from Akari is) yung pag-handle ng emotions saka yung composure inside the court.”