In their first game for UAAP Season 82, the Adamson Lady Falcons started to wax hot, but suddenly stalled and misfired, giving up a three-set loss to the NU Lady Bulldogs.
The rookie-laden lineup of the Lady Falcons had a tough time building momentum in the first set, trading attacks with NU. It took a kill-streak from rookie Lorene Toring for the Lady Falcons to close the gap after the second technical timeout. From here, Trisha Genesis and Rizza Cruz took turns rifling kill shots until an attack by Antonette Adolfo brought Adamson to set point.
Unfortunately, after the official review which confirmed that Adolfo’s shot was indeed in, the Lady Falcons couldn’t seal the deal and committed a service error. The Lady Bulldogs capitalized on the opportunity and rallied back from being down 22 – 24. The Lady Falcons could not get a good receive and allowed a deuce, then lost the set 24 – 26.
The Lady Falcons were visibly affected by the near loss in the first set, allowing NU to race to a big lead in set number two. The deficit got as bad as 4 – 16 with the Lady Falcons unable to get a good first ball. Lorene Toring and Chien Ave tried to spark a run for Adamson with a few power hits and service aces, but the hole they dug themselves was already too deep.
Coach Lerma Giron was on the sidelines trying to get the players to work past their errors and focus on the positive aspects of what they were doing. However, she acknowledges that losing the second set 14 – 25 was part of them being a relatively young team.
The third set saw the Lady Falcons get back their footing, with Lorene and Trisha taking turns on the attack. But the height and composure of NU wouldn’t allow the Lady Falcons to build any kind of momentum. The game ended with the third set at 21 – 24.
Head coach Lerma Giron acknowledges that the poor showing was all part of their growth as a team. For the majority of the players it was their first time to play in the UAAP seniors environment, with all the lights, cameras and people watching.
Rookie Lorene Toring who finished the game with 11 points, 9 blocks and 3 service aces noted that she felt the pressure of playing in her first UAAP seniors game but tried her best not to let it affect her. “Yung pressure, siyempre given na ‘yun, so ginagawa ko, kung ano sinasabi ng coaches sinusunod ko lang para magawa ko yung gusto kong gawin sa game.”
For the middle blocker, going up against more experienced attackers did not scare her, even if it meant having to block the former Conggo U-18 player Margot Mutshima. “Nasa isip ko lang na kaya ko ‘to,” adding that she gains her confidence from the intensive training she and her teammates undergo.
Despite the loss, coach Lerma reminded the players to stay optimistic and to treat this as a learning experience. Jitters, adjustment and slow starts are all part of being a young team. As a final reminder, training consultant Tai Bundit promised the athletes, that as long as they continue to give 100% effort in their training and in the game, “We will be good.”