Missing gem: Jema Galanza’s absence is felt by the young Adamson Lady Falcons
MANILA, Philippines - Although they have yet to barge into the win column of Season 79, the Adamson Lady Falcons have displayed fleeting scenes of bravery and determination despite the youth and relative inexperience they possess.
In their previous match against the Ateneo Lady Eagles, however, the Lady Falcons failed to step up to the plate, buckling under the stress of facing last year’s finalists.
The San Marcelino-based squad succumbed in straight sets, but what caught the attention of supporters and home viewers alike was how the foes quickly catapulted to a 16-0 lead in the 3rd set. Ateneo’s Kim Gequillana remained at the service area for 16 straight possessions before sending the ball out of bounds - handing Adamson its first mark on the scoreboard.
The move sent the entirety of the Big Dome to a frenzy, with fans from both ends joyously cheering for the Lady Falcons’ first point.
It wasn’t the same story though for head coach Airess Padda.
Perhaps it was due to team captain Jema Galanza glancing from the sidelines. There may have also been an intimidation factor against a top spiking, much taller and experienced Ateneo squad. Either way, Padda was left unimpressed.
“With this team, there’s always an intimidation factor. Their confidence is really low right now,” shared Padda.
“A lot of players could have stepped up and filled in for [Jema’s] absence, but I think the opposite happened. Instead of fighting, they took the easy route out which was giving up.”
Galanza passed out 3 days before the Lady Falcons’ contest against the Katipunan squad due to fatigue and dehydration. The fourth-year spiker underwent several tests including a CT scan, and sat out during the game per doctor’s request.
As she rooted for her teammates from afar, spectators witnessed how big of a piece Galanza is in solving the Lady Falcons’ big-picture puzzle.
“She knows the position she’s in. She’s carried us. She was even scared to come and tell me that she can’t play but I kinda already knew. I don’t want her to feel guilt,” the rookie mentor said of Galanza.
“She plays a huge role on our team. I believe her dehydration, exhaustion is due to the season that we’re having.”
“It’s very stressful for her emotionally and physically. Even when we have tough practices, she does the work. On top of that, with the stress, she’s just burned out.”
Galanza, who has been a consistent top scorer as well as a top digger and receiver, has lifted Adamson to two set victories thus far in Season 79. The Lady Falcons last made the UAAP semis 3 years back, and are undoubtedly in the rebuilding stage after losing key players last season.
With spiker May Roque, who has been recovering from ACL injury, expected to suit up for Adamson in Season 80 together with Eli Soyud and a couple of new recruits, the retooling process can only spell the beginning of a bright future for the Lady Falcons.
For now, Galanza will be needing all the support she can get as her team hunts for that first victory in their remaining elimination games against defending champions De La Salle University and the University of the East.
Roque and Soyud meanwhile will be seeing action late this year as they headline the Adamson squad which will be participating in the Open and Collegiate Conferences of the V-League, as reported by Akari Sports. －Rappler.com