AS she leads a depleted Adamson-Akari side, Chiara Permentilla is hoping to deliver and contribute all the best that she can for the Lady Falcons’ campaign in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
The Lady Falcons have yet to win after two games in the Open Conference after losing to Tacloban and Pocari Sweat-Air Force, where they experienced the lack of firepower and leadership of Eli Soyud, who underwent through meniscus repair and will be out for up to eight weeks. Lea Ann Perez has also been out with a recurring right shoulder pain, as well as Joy Dacoron, who playing for her club team BanKo Perlas Spikers.
But Permentilla, who struggled and had lesser playing time in the recently concluded Collegiate Conference, is starting to step up for her young and undermanned team and proving her worth this Open Conference.
“Ako gusto ko lang talaga makacontribute as best as I can sa team,” said Permentilla after suffering their second straight loss, a 23-25, 22-25, 16-25 decision at the hands of Pocari Sweat-Air Force on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
“Step up na din kasi siyempre Eli was our leading scorer for almost whole of the Collegiate Conference and we need more guns nga. Sa ngayon hindi pa kasi consistent kung sino man ‘yung pumalit madaming nawala na malaki ‘yung contribution nila sa team,” the 20-year-old Filipina-Italian added. “So ngayon kung ano man yung kaya ko maicontribute sa team ko gagawin ko talaga para mapunan.”
With a depleted lineup, Adamson head coach Airess Padda has been expecting more from open spikers Permentilla and Bern Flora as well as rookie Trisha Genesis in carrying the cudgels of the Lady Falcons and facing the top club teams in the country.
“I really expect more from Chiara and Flora. They did well in the last conference but this is a different ballgame. This is a higher level and they need to start playing at the level we need them to be,” Padda said, “Trisha might get an opportunity at the opposite. We're playing around with that and I'm starting to lean more in that direction. She's a strong hitter and it would be great to have her come alive. There's still something she hasn't shown but that's mostly because she's still a baby.”
And so far, Permentilla has been the leading scorer of Adamson averaging 11.5 points in their first two games. But she is putting premium on improving her defense, playing smarter and leveling up her attacks.
“Defense ko lalo para mabasa ko kaagad, makapagadjust ako agad, and sabi nga din ni coach parang make smarter decisions hindi lang puro lakas in terms of spiking kailangan wide ‘yung range ko sa pagiging attacker,” the 5-foot-8 hitter said.
The second-year Lady Falcon is still optimistic despite losing two in a row as they still have a lot of games to improve on playing in a double-round elimination.
“Siyempre we’re aiming for Final Four, hopefully, even though eto nga hindi kami nananalo ngayon pero malayo pa naman madami pang pwedeng mangyari, madami kaming pwedeng adjustments,” she said.
And Permentilla is relishing the moment in their buildup this Open Conference playing with the top club teams and volleyball players in the country like Tacloban’s Jovielyn Prado and Pocari Sweat’s Myla Pablo in their past two games as well as her idol Alyssa Valdez of Creamline and other stars in their succeeding games.
“Sobrang laking tulong sa akin lalo na most sa kanila same position ko. I can get so much from them na dati nanonood lang ako pero ngayon nakakalaban ko na sila na literally we’re playing on the same court, mas naabsorb ko lahat ng nakikita ko,” she said.