Adamson's American coach vows Lady Falcons will be full of 'laban' this UAAP season
Adamson Lady Falcons coach Airess Padda with assistants Michele Gumabao, Cherry Macatangay and Angge Tabaquero. Mei-Lin Lozada

ADAMSON on Friday presented a powerhouse all-women coaching staff led by American coach Airess Padda as it bared its intention of going all out for a maiden UAAP women's volleyball championship.

The athlete-turned coach will be backed by former La Salle stars Michele Gumabao and Cherry Macatangay and former University of Santo Tomas skipper Angge Tabaquero in the Lady Falcons' campaign in Season 79, which kicks off on February 4.

The Lady Falcons are coming off one of the school’s worst seasons, finishing seventh with a 3-11 record that included a loss to University of the East - the Lady Warriors’ first after a 58-game losing streak.

Padda, who took over the team's training five months ago, said she wants to change the culture of the team not just on the court but also in the way they see themselves.

“It's about changing the culture of Adamson volleyball. Not just winning but believing,” said Padda, who is a founder and director of Malibu Palms Volleyball Club.

“My biggest challenge was changing the mindset that they have been accustomed to in the past year, because they believed that they are not good enough,” she added.

“Because no matter how physically capable they are, but if they don’t believe that they are the best, they can never be the best.”

The Lady Falcons, whose best-ever finish was second place in 2005 and 2008, hope to duplicate the successful campaigns of the school's men's basketball and cheerdance squads in Season 79.

The Franz Pumared-led Falcons made it to the men's basketball Final Four while the Adamson Pep Squad reached the podium this season with a third place finish.

“Expect a lot of spirit, a lot of teamwork, a lot of fighting, laban,” said Padda. “I don’t know a lot of Tagalog words but I use laban always because that’s something you’ll see from the Lady Falcons can do in the UAAP.”


Jema Galanza will be Adamson's team captain this season.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @meilinlozada