UAAP 80 VOLLEYBALL PREVIEW: Adamson U Lady Falcons
Mark Escarlote on Jan 27, 2018 11:22 AM
I just say anything’s possible because obviously we have more talent on the team this year -- head coach Air Padda on an overhauled Adamson University lineup
Key holdovers: Jema Galanza, Jellie Tempiatura, Joy Dacoron
Key returnees: Mylene Paat, Fenela Emnas
Players to watch: Chiara Permentilla, Eli Soyud
Hopes are high for the Adamson University Lady Falcons in the 80th UAAP women’s volleyball tournament starting February 3.
With an overhauled lineup including a couple of key returnees, the addition of talented recruits and a good showing during the preseason, the Lady Falcons are considered as this season’s dark horse in spite of a dismal showing last year where they finished dead last with a 1-13 win-loss card.
“I just say anything’s possible because obviously we have more talent on the team this year,” said a very optimistic American sophomore coach Air Padda.
Top hitter Jema Galanza came back from a harrowing ankle injury she sustained during the Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference for her swan song. Acting as support to the graduating team captain are Joy Dacoro, May Roque, libero Jellie Tempiatura and Thang Ponce, Bernadette Flora and Chrislyn Uy.
Padda will also have the luxury of having additional seasoned players in her roster with the return of Mylene Paat and setter Fenela Emnas after skipping Adamson’s campaign last year.
But what put the Lady Falcons back in the radar for the Final Four race is the inclusion of a former De LA Salle University hitter Eli Soyud and a talented newcomer in Chiara Permentilla.
Padda will have on her hands a good mix of young players and veterans all eager to put the Lady Falcons back in the top four after lumbering at the last two spots of the standings for three straight years.
“We have seasoned players. Our ratio of rookies to experienced girls is different from last year,” Padda said. “I always respond with we have all the pieces now, like we definitely have game-changers on our team, they’re superstars.”
With a complete lineup at his disposal, Padda’s challenge now is to make her players play as one cohesive unit and compete.
“I think the biggest challenge for us is to get them to play as a team, and wanting the team to shine versus wanting me to shine,” she said.
“So we talk about it every day, but it’s like, I don’t want people to look at Adamson this year and point out, like last year, you know, it’s Jema, Jema, Jema. I don’t think that’s gonna be the issue this year,” Padda added. “It’s gonna be Adamson because everyone on the court is gonna bring some type of superstardom to the team and nobody wants to outshine anybody.”
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