Someone asked me how my blog and newspaper column came to be titled "Bleachers Brew". It's like this, it's an amalgam of sorts of two things: The bleachers area in the stadium/arena where I used to sit when I would watch baseball, football, and basketball games and Miles Davis' great jazz album Bitches Brew. That's how it got culled together. I originally planned on calling it "The View from the Big Chair" that is a nod to Tears For Fear's second album, Songs from the Big Chair. So there.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

How about them Adamson Lady Falcons?

How about them Lady Falcons?
by rick olivares

It has been an up and down season for the Adamson Lady Falcons of head coach Airess Padda. They opened the season with a four-set loss to NU where new acquisition Eli Soyud didn’t perform the way she was expected to play. And as off this writing, they chalked up their biggest win of this season and in the Airess Padda era – a four-set win over defending champion La Salle.

The Lady Falcons played better against FEU and won a five-setter despite Soyud once more a non-factor. In her place, Jema Galanza stepped up and middle hitter Joy Dacoron giving a good account of herself. It seemed Adamson found their groove as they swept UP in three sets but they fell flat on their faces after UST used Padda’s rather innocent comments as motivation in a three-set win.

A skid seemed threatened to send them into a free fall with a five-set loss to Ateneo. The upside was Soyud played much better. Or has she?

Soyud, in her first season with Adamson after leaving La Salle, played huge in dealing her former team its second setback in their past three matches (25-18, 15-25, 25-19, 25-22).

That win gave Padda’s side an even 3-3 record with one more to play this first round against winless UE. They have a chance to go above .500 but given the way their season has gone, I don’t think anyone should bet against anything.

If there is any team that should wear the “comeback” tag it is the Lady Falcons. May Roque, although she seems to have lost her starting spot after a knee injury, is hardly a factor now but at least is in the line-up. Middle blocker and setter Fen Emnas are back after skipping a year after unhappiness about the coaching change of two years ago. Like Soyud, Ciara Permentilla is another refugee from another team who has found her home and groove with this team. And there’s Galanza who has battled all sorts of health ailments that could have permanently or temporarily sidelined her career. And she is the sixth best scorer in the league thus far.

Ironically, it is the team’s two middle hitters – Paat and Dacoron – are second and third in scoring as of Saturday, February 24. Mylene is currently at eighth spot while Joy is 14th in the Best Scorer’s ledger. Soyud who seems to have bucked her early season slump has picked it up and is at 17th with Permentilla not far behind.

Paat is the third best blocker and check this out – third best server! I guess, the time away from the team has served her in good stead.

Yet as good as this team has gotten, they know they have their work cut out for them. There are positives. Emnas set perhaps the best match of her career and played much better than her young but talented La Salle counterpart, Michelle Cobb. As I have written elsewhere, this team will live and die with Emnas setting which can best be described as living dangerously. In the vernacular, medyo alanganin. But Fen has learned so much in the past year or so playing club and school-based volleyball. While playing with the Bureau of Customs Transformers in the final season of the Shakey’s V-League, at times she steadied the ship in place of their Thai setter, Natthanicha Jaisaen. If she can steady her setting and feed her hitters, this team will take off.

I thought that last year, Padda was a refreshing change of pace for Adamson. Sure, she got upset a lot at her team. In English, her thoughts about her team were biting. But you cannot sugarcoat this. Yet when she delivered her thoughts, it was in the same tone and unlike others who tend to be harsh or even sarcastic.

Right now, the Adamson Lady Falcons are one of the most fun teams to watch. But I am sure it’s not simply about having fun but fulfilling the team’s promise. How they attack their next few matches will greatly tell where they end up because the middle of the pack of this unpredictable UAAP volleyball season – well, it’s packed. And that makes it truly a joy to watch.

No comments:

Post a Comment