[Editor's note: This is the third of our eight-part preview for the coming UAAP Season 82 women's volleyball tournament]
Last Season: 8th Place (2-12)
Key Holdovers: Thang Ponce, Trisha Genesis, Ceasa Pinar
Departures: Eli Soyud, Joy Dacoron, Bern Flora, Onyok Getigan (coach)
Injury list: Chiara Permentilla (torn ACL)
Newcomers: Louie Romero, Lorene Toring, Rizza Cruz, Tai Bundit (trainer and consultant)
Head Coach: Lerma Giron (1st season)
ADAMSON head coach Lerma Giron is firm that the rookie-laden Lady Falcons — under the new system of Thai tactician Tai Bundit — are going to show maturity beyond their years this UAAP Season 82 women’s volleyball tournament.
After a cellar-dwelling performance last year winning only two out of 14 games, the Lady Falcons went through a lot of changes from coaching with Giron replacing former coach Onyok Getigan with trainer and consultant Bundit.
Ushering a new era for Adamson are several rookies bannered by team captain Louie Romero, Lorene Toring, and Rizza Cruz, who showed a lot of promise in the preseason by steering the team in its Premier Volleyball League Collegiate Conference championship.
Giron is full of hope that these young Lady Falcons can prove that their preseason success is no fluke and could soar to greater heights in the UAAP.
“Rookies ang edge namin yun. Kasi experienced na mga rookie ‘to hindi lang sila yung basta na rookie lang na pumasok na talagang from zero,” the new Adamson head coach said. “Sila yung mga rookies na sabihin nating magagamit nila yung experience nila from high school sa paglalaro nila sa UAAP.”
“Baguhan pa yung team pero hindi namin excuse yun. We will work hard everyday kung gusto namin magFinal Four, that’s our ultimate goal,” she added.
But the biggest of the Lady Falcons is the winning system of Bundit, who steered his former team Ateneo with two UAAP titles in 2014 and 2015 before parting ways in 2018.
“We know naman na multi-awarded coach si coach Tai so yung mga strategies niya, techniques niya even yung experiences niya malaking tulong sa amin para mas magimprove yung team,” Giron said.
Libero Thang Ponce, one of the key holdovers with Trisha Genesis and Ceasa Pinar, can proved that their culture has changed since Bundit trained them last November.
“Yung work ethic mo bilang isang athlete. He pushes you to your limits. Yung limit mo nandito na pero pupush ka pa niya. Parang hindi mo nakikita sa sarili mo na kaya mo pala pero alam ni coach Tai na kaya mo,” Ponce said.
Hopes are high for these young and promising Lady Falcons, but Giron just wants her wards to take it one step at a time until they reach their ultimate goal.
“Naka-focus kami doon sa every day. Let’s work hard kasi the more na ipressure mo yung team na dapat Final Four, Final Four, mas mahihirapan sila,” she said. “We’re just working hard. Focus kami sa goal. Regarding the pressure, andyan naman palagi yan e. Accept na lang.”