TAKING RISK: Denesse Daylisan sees self-growth in first National Team stint

From Davao all the way to Thailand, outside hitter Denesse Daylisan has come a long way in her young career.

Last night, Daylisan had her breakout game for the Philippines, scoring 22 points composed of 20 attacks, one block, and one ace in their four-set victory over India in the 15th Asian Women’s U18 Volleyball Championship (AVC).

The Davaoeña showcased her full potential and helped the Akari-backed Philippine U18 team in securing its first win in the AVC.

Looking back, Daylisan started playing volleyball with her cousin and her older sister, who was a varsity member at her elementary school. However, playing competitively was not an option for her due to her health.

“Wala po talaga akong balak mag-volleyball kasi asthmatic po ako nung bata ako, so bawal po sa akin yung mapagod kasi mahina po yung lungs ko,” Daylisan shared.

However, everything changed when her older sister’s coach asker her to play for their elementary school team

“Mga Grade 5 po ako nung nakita ako ng coach nila ate kasi may height daw po ako so pinupursue po ako nung coach ng ate ko na sumali sa volleyball.”

Daylisan was hesitant, contemplating her lung condition that might prevent her from consistently playing on the court, but her mother told her to try.

She took the risk, and the stars aligned for the 5’7 outside hitter as her body caught up with the rigorous demands of training. From there, her volleyball journey began.

Eventually, an assistant coach from National University watched her play in a tournament in Nueva Ecija and recruited her to play for the Jhocson-based school.

With the NU Nazareth School Lady Bullpups, Daylisan has already won three medals (silver in the UAAP Season 86 girls’ volleyball tournament, silver in the NCR Meet, and bronze in the Philippine National Volleyball Federation U18 girls’ championship).

And now, the hard work she put in and the risk she took have paid off for something bigger — a Philippine National Team opportunity. 

The NU standout was selected to represent the Akari-Philippines U18 Women’s National Team, which has participated in two tournaments in Thailand.

Out of all the players who could be selected to play for the Philippines, she was chosen, and rightfully so.

“Thankful po kasi syempre marami pong players na mas may potential pa po talaga. Tapos, super happy na kabado po kasi buong Pilipinas na po yung susuporta sa inyo. Hindi lang po yung team (school) nyo, ‘yung buong Pilipinas po kasi flag na po yung dala namin,” she said.

Daylisan is aware of the gravity of representing the country on the international stage, and she would not take it for granted.

“Malaking responsibility po na i-representa po namin yung Pilipinas nang maayos, nang may pride po,” she added.

Since the team won bronze in the 22nd Princess Cup on June 13, Daylisan has already seen growth on her skills and character.  

“Sa akin po big help siya kasi mag-grow po ako dito kasi first time po sa lahat and may makukuha po talaga ako dito na mga lessons from the coaches and sa laro, parang magmamature po ako sa loob ng court.”