Crush of the moment: UE's confident-with-a-heart captain Shaya Adorador

Crush of the moment: UE's confident captain Adorador
Charging into a new season with a reinvigorated spirit, this Lady Warrior head-turner is out to prove her worth as the team leader. (Photos courtesy of Adorador)

Name: Shaya Adorador
Instagram: @shayaadorador
Age: 19
Birthday: December 29, 1997
Zodiac sign: Capricorn
Degree: Tourism
School: University of the East
Current position and team: Captain, UE Lady Warriors

Where and when we started crushing on her: She might belong to a team that treaded through three seasons winless until its last game in Season 78, wherein the squad managed to drown rivals from Adamson in three straight sets. But that hasn’t let her star go dull in any way. The 5’8”-standing morena has shone in her own way as a killer spiker and scorer, enough to keep their formerly disappointed Coach Francis Vicenter who previously threatened to quit if UE went on winless.

Why we find her crushable: It’s difficult ignoring Adorador whenever she’s on the court, either in the UAAP as a Lady Warrior or the Philippine Superliga with Generika. Now a veteran, Adorador has taken the skipper reins after shying away from the position last season. “Yung time na yun, parang hindi ko nakikita sa sarili ko yung pagiging leader. Kulang sa confidence sobra,” she whispers. A more confident Adorador is at the vanguard of Recto this year, replacing last season’s Celine Domingo now with FEU. “Grab na kasi it’s an opportunity tapos na-challenge nalang ako. Sabi nga ni Coach, ‘I-challenge mo na lang sarili mo kasi hindi naman kita ilalagay diyan kung hindi ko nakikita yung mga nakikita ko sayo. Dapat ipakita mo sa mga teammates mo, i-share mo sa teammates mo!’” A lady of power always leaves us dumbfounded!

How she maintains her being crushable: Adorador has always been athletic, thanks to her sports-oriented family. It was her dad who led them to get physical early on—she has brothers in basketball and volleyball (one played for NU), and a sister as a varsity basketball player (UE). For Adorador herself, the one-time UAAP Magazine cover girl played badminton in her elementary years before leaving it for her current sport. She is as fit as ever, with her volleyball training every afternoon followed by some weight lifting on some days. She’s also like any other hardworking athlete who’s so active she needs no diet to be in shape. “Pero nasa sarili na lang namin po yung disiplina. Kung gusto namin, maging mataba paano kami makakatalon?” she jokes.

Why she’s not just a pretty face: Down to her second to the last season, Adorador aims to give her best in redemption of the past upsetting seasons. She is aware of the rebuilding that’s going on with the Warriors, a mission that will push through despite losing their first game to NU last weekend. The captain gets technical, “Sobrang daming adjustment po like si Roselle Balidon po, ni-convert siya as center. So, dinedevelop namin and ng coaches sa kanya yung lateral movements niya, yung bilis. Sa team naman, bini-build up po namin yung team work sa loob ng work – yung enjoyment. Pero in terms of physical training naman po, wala naman pong problema kasi araw-araw naman po kami nagti-training.”

Who she is off the court: What has been mentioned above might have sketched her as an ice queen, but the soft-spoken and polite Adorador claims to be just like any regular gal who likes to bond with friends and family. Apart from trying to bring back UE’s lost glory (they last won a championship in Season 35), she is raring to finish her Tourism course. It’s for her mom, she says, “Siguro, dati gusto niya maging tourism pero hindi siya naging.” (Photo by Judith Abil)

Why we can’t wait to see more of her: Well, Adorador vows to live up to her Lady Warrior title especially now as a newly confident team captain. How much of a disciplinarian is she? “Ako kasi as a leader, sa training kailangan masaya at walang matamlay. Dapat andun pa rin yung enjoyment kasi mahahawa yung teammates. Tsaka pinagsasabihan naman po namin agad na dapat focus muna dito (volleyball). Sumusunod naman po sila agad. Kapag hindi na maganda yung harutan, wala na sa focus, pinagsasabihan ko naman po sila, nasunod naman agad,” she says, adding it's team clown Judith Abil as the usual suspect when the fun gets out of hand.  Masungit, we tease her. She responds coyly, ”Minsan po.”

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