UAAP Season 82 will witness the Adamson Lady Falcons spreading their wings and soaring once more. With a reloaded and retooled roster, the Lady Falcons are coming into the new season as one of the youngest but most promising teams in the UAAP women’s volleyball tournament.
After a turbulent season, the Lady Falcons are building off their experiences in order to improve their performance this year. While many are hyped about the team because of their pre-season success, the players and coaches are tempering expectations, doing all they can to bring out their best performances while keeping their eyes on the prize.
The Lady Falcons will no longer have twin towers Joy Dacoron and Eli Soyud manning the net. The pair served as the veteran presence of the team, while Dacoron’s signature running spike was a common point of attack.
They will also be missing the services of two of their main gunners from last season. Bern Flora, who was one of their primary offensive weapons has opted to move to the next level, while Chiara Permentilla is forced to sit the season out with an injury. The loss of their presence is significant as the two often traded turns as the team’s top scorer last season.
New roles to fill
This iteration of the Lady Falcons is notably young, with majority of their players being rookies and sophomores. Because of this, it falls upon the more senior players of the team to step up and take the leadership roles. Thang Ponce will be tasked with steadying the team in case they hit turbulence. Already one of the more vocal players, expect the graduating libero to make her presence felt, both in rallying her teammates and frustrating opposing spikers.
Just a sophomore yet already making a huge impact, Trisha Genesis will be given a lot more looks compared to last year. The once heavily sought-after recruit and now reigning PVL Collegiate Conference MVP is expected to be the driving force of the Lady Falcons’ offense. Her power, accuracy and variety of skills will be a big problem for teams at the opposite side of the net. She and Chen Ave are expected to provide the firepower for the Lady Falcons this time around.
Sophomore Krich Macaslang will be counted on even more as the first line of defense. Her height was already a factor last year, but without Dacoron around anymore, expect Krich to sneak in a spike or two to go along with her blocking.
The highlight of the Lady Falcons’ new roster is their set of rookies. Lorene Toring and Rizza Cruz are expected to provide even more height at the net, while Martina Aprecio, Maveth Torres and Antonette Adolfo add to their attack options. However, most attention will be on setter Louie Romero. Not yet into her first season in the UAAP, Louie has caught the attention of volleyball fans with her masterful setting ability. The rookie has proven she can perform under pressure, earning the trust of her teammates and coaches, rewarding them with a Finals MVP performance and a championship in the PVL Collegiate Conference.
Calling the shots at the sidelines will be a fellow UAAP rookie, coach Lerma Giron. Mama Lerms will be coaching in the UAAP seniors for the first time but it doesn’t mean she lacks experience competing at a high level. Last year, she led the Baby Falcons to a silver finish in the UAAP junior girl’s tournament and was the Lady Falcons’ tactician during their dominant PVL run. Her close relationship with the players and her ability to strike a balance between discipline and motivation will be on full display come Season 82.
Championships are won in the gym when the lights are off and the fans aren’t around. The Lady Falcons engaged the services of a championship caliber trainer in coach Tai Bundit. Known for his intense workouts, coach Tai is leaving no stone unturned when it comes to wringing out every ounce of potential from the players. At the start of the year, Akari sent the players to a training camp in Thailand to further develop their skills and give them the experience they need to compete at a high level.
The Adamson Lady Falcons, retooled and reloaded will take to the air and soar this UAAP Season 82. It’s not a question whether they’ll soar, but a matter of how high.