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Seniors to lead Lady Falcons

By Anton Roxas Posted Nov 28th 2013

The Adamson Lady Falcons look to rely on their seniors in the upcoming UAAP 76 women's volleyball tournament.

The 76th season of the UAAP holds a heightened level of importance for the Adamson University community as the school prepares to host the volleyball tournament which begins this coming Sunday, December 1, 2013 at the historic Araneta Coliseum.  After coming off its most successful season in league history, the spotlight is on the host school to make sure that the quality of the event is sustained. Of course, it would also be nice to have their team perform well.

Last September 20, the duo of Shiela “Bang” Pineda and Amanda Villanueva dethroned the two-time champions, University of Sto. Tomas in Game 2 of the UAAP Beach Volleyball Finals held at the University of the East-Caloocan. The Lady Falcons captured a record, fourth Beach Volley crown, the most in history since the sport was first integrated to the league back in 2006. With that victory, the Adamson community is hoping that their success in the sand will spill over indoors.

After missing the Final Four bus in Season 74, Adamson bounced back in Season 75 with new Head Coach, Sherwin Meneses at the helm. The Lady Falcons finished at third place in the elimination round with 9 wins and 5 defeats before getting booted out in the Final Four by Ateneo de Manila University. In preparation for the upcoming season, Meneses has stressed to his players that if they are to once again make it back to the Final Four, they have to play as a team.

Former UAAP Best Attacker Pau Soriano has exhausted all of her five playing years in the league and according to some of the players, they initially had a difficult time adjusting to her absence.

“Nung una, nahihirapan talaga kami kasi si Ate Pau yung leader namin sa loob ng court eh. Pero ngayon na wala na siya, kailangan maglaro pa rin kami ng maayos. Yun yung bini-build namin ngayon na wala na si Ate Pau,” said Bang Pineda, who will be playing in her final season for Adamson.

“Tatlo kaming senior sa loob. May sari-sarili kaming trabaho sa loob. Maglalaro kami as a team kasi dun namin makikita kung papano kami mananalo,” Pineda added.

The other seniors that Pineda was referring to are Marleen Cortel, who was named Team Captain, and Mayette Zapanta. Like Pineda, Zapanta will also be playing out her fifth and final season for the Lady Falcons. Formerly from Ateneo de Davao Elementary and High School, Zapanta also explained that a change in the mindset of the team is needed in order for them to continue their success this season.

“Dati kasi, Ate Pau, Ate Pau. Ngayon, lahat kami, gagampanan yung role. Walang asahan. Dapat sarili mo. Ikaw mag-step-up. Bawat isa sa amin maglalaro ng maayos at tsaka gagampanan yung position namin.”

Aside from Pineda, Zapanta, Villanueva and Cortel, Faye Guevara will also be back along with setter Jennifer Macatuno and libero Princess Listana. Joining them are four new faces who are hoping to contribute right away.

Jemma Galanza from the University of Perpetual Help in Biñan, Laguna will make her debut in the Indoor Volleyball tournament. The open spiker first saw action in the Beach Volleyball event as the alternate to the tandem of Pineda and Villanueva. Mylene Paat from the University of Baguio will try her best to wreak havoc like Soriano used to as a Middle Hitter. The other two recruits are Olongapo native Anna Velasco and Jelly Tempietura, who hails from Iligan City.

Adamson has produced some exceptional talents throughout the years like Soriano, Angela Benting, Lizlee Ann Gata and Janet Serafica. Although the team still has the high-flying Pineda, who was awarded as the league’s Best Server in Season 75, they don’t want to rely too much on one player alone. Their goal for UAAP Season 76 is to win together.

Zapanta said it best.

“Malaking kawalan si Paulina sa amin. Kailangan namin mag-step up kasi bilang mga Ate sa loob ng court, kailangan namin ma-guide yung mga kasama naming.”

“Maganda naman yung pinapakita namin ngayon. Sana magtuloy-tuloy sa games.”