Airess Padda hoping someone would step up in absence of Jema Galanza: ‘Somebody’s got to do it’
Airess Padda hopes to steer the Lady Falcons, missing Jema Galanza, past an FEU squad missing top hitter Bernadeth Pons. Marlo Cueto

ADAMSON University coach Air Padda is waiting for someone to step up as the Jema Galanza-less Lady Falcons meet the FEU Lady Tamaraws in the PVL Collegiate Conference semifinals.

Galanza is out of the tournament with an ankle injury and Padda is not mentioning who she is counting on most as they try to overcome the Lady Tamaraws in the best-of-three series starting on Wednesday at The Arena in San Juan.

Ely Soyud, Joy Dacoron, Chiara Permentilla and Bernadette Flora starred in the Lady Falcons’ match against San Beda, their first since Galanza suffered the injury, but Padda admitted that her wards seemed disoriented without their star.

“When you’re surrounded by chaos that’s when your true leaders rise up so somebody’s got to do it, somebody’s gonna step up,” she said.

“Everything happens for a reason maybe this is what the team needs for the other leaders on the team to step up. (This is) a serious wake up call,” she said.

“You know, Jema is the star, she was the limelight. Maybe in her absence other people will shine and really get some confidence so when she comes back we can still be a contender for the Final Four,” she added.

While the Lady Falcons are without their star, they will also have one less Lady Tamaraw to worry about as top hitter Bernadeth Pons,  won’t be available for the remainder of the conference as she sees action in the UAAP Season 80 beach volleyball tournament, which starts on Thursday.

While Galanza averaged 15.75 points in four matches, Pons delivered 15.6 in three outings.

“Thank God, thank God. Pons is a game changer, she’s my favorite player in the UAAP, she has this go for it hungry attitude,” said Padda. 

“She takes responsibility for her team and she’s super confident so not having her is great, they’re not able to be the fast-paced FEU we’ve known them to be,” she added.


Also missing the semifinals for Adamson are Bernadette Flora and Chrislyn Uy, while joining Pons in the beach volley event is Kyla Atienza.


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