FORMER Adamson star-turned-Creamline’s starting hitter Jema Galanza is happy to play against her former team for the first time in the Premier Volleyball League Season 2 Open Conference.
Galanza dropped 11 points including 13 digs and nine receptions to lead the Cool Smashers to a 25-16, 25-9, 25-20 victory over the Lady Falcons on Wednesday at the Arena in San Juan City.
The ex-Adamson star outside spiker, who is known for her strong attacks and great floor defense, was teasing her former teammates during the game but it was her way of pushing them to the limits.
“Inaasar ko lang sila, hindi sila makatingin sa akin kasi baka pagalitan sila ni coach Air (Padda) pero inaasar ko sila,” said Galanza, who ended her five-year collegiate career last UAAP season.
Although the Cool Smashers made a short work of the Lady Falcons in just 67 minutes, Galanza is proud to see her former teammates in bringing back Adamson’s trademark - its tremendous floor defense.
“Nakakatuwa kasi nakikita ko ‘yung improvement nilang lahat kahit wala ako talagang lumalaban sila,” the 5-foot-7 spiker said. “Actually, napapagod kami kasi ‘yung defense nila sobrang hirap kahit gaano kalakas yung palo namin, nakakaproud.”
“Sobrang nakakaproud kasi nabalik yung trademark ng Adamson na maganda yung defense,” she added.
But the 21-year-old spiker said that the Lady Falcons have to work on their attacks as she observed that it has been the team’s problem in their first four losses in the Open Conference.
“‘Yung attacks siguro kasi andun na yung floor defense nabubuhay lagi (‘yung bola) pero hindi napapatay so yun lang siguro,” the San Pedro, Laguna native said.
Adamson Head Coach Air Padda, who handled Galanza in her last two seasons in the UAAP, was extremely proud to see her ‘baby’ bloom as one of the top hitters of Creamline.
“Sobrang proud of her it’s really like watching her and she’s grown so much. I think she probably wants to destroy us,” Padda said. “I think she did good, she’s very disciplined. It’s nice to see her in a healthier state because you know she had that awful injury with us and then only a month of training before UAAP she is looking so much stronger than she did back.”
“She’s doing a lot for Creamline, she’s playing as one of the starters and I’m just proud of my baby,” she added.
And when she learned that Galanza praised their floor defense, the American coach was flattered.
“She said that? Aaaawww. I mean she’s one of the reasons that we regained it and that makes me so happy,” Padda said.
As Galanza and the Lady Falcons tread different paths, the former Adamson skipper is hoping for the best for her former team, while she is shifting her focus on Creamline’s big game against Pocari Sweat-Air Force as they gun for their fourth straight in their fifth game of the conference.