“Sobrang namiss ko.”
This was Adamson head coach Sherwin Meneses’s reaction after seeing again the grit from his wards Wednesday at the FilOil Flying V Arena in San Juan as they completed a come-from-behind win against FEU, 21-25, 17-25, 25-19, 25-23, 15-10.
After winning their 1st outing of the season, the Lady Falcons went on a 4-game skid as their defense—7th in receiving—fell apart for the San Marcelino squad.
It was the same issue in the 1st 2 sets of the Adamson-FEU duel with the former only tallying 28 excellent receptions in the match as opposed to the latter’s 37.
A huge turnaround happened in the 3rd set, however, as sophomore Mhay Roque scored at will, exploding with 23 markers to carry her team to a decider before eventually winning the match to move up to a 2-4 record.
“Nung first 2 sets okay naman ‘yung nilaro namin eh. Kaso ‘yung errors lang talaga nasa kalagitnaan at dulo eh,” Meneses told FOX Sports. “‘Yung mga basic errors like service, receive, ‘yun ang pumapatay sa amin eh.”
On the opponent possibly underestimating Adamson after a huge lead, Meneses begs to differ saying, “No, hindi naman nila kami in-underestimate. Maganda talaga nilaro ng team ko nung 3rd tsaka 4th.”
Admittedly, there are internal issues that the team went through in the past weeks but the mentor chose to stand up for his team and go back to the drawing board in their attempt to wake up from the lull.
“Sabi ko kakainin ko na lang ‘yung pride ko,” he said. “Bumalik na lang tayo sa gym at mag ensayo tayo. ‘Yun ang pampalakas ng loob ko sa kanila. Pag inisip pa talaga namin ‘yung talo talagang mada-down kami eh.”
While suffering from consecutive losses could crush the hope out of some teams, it was different for Adamson, who was set to fight tooth and nail for a Final Four spot after getting the experience of playing against powerhouse club teams in Thailand.
The low morale was a concern Meneses was aware of which he countered by pushing his girls to continue working hard in training.
“Madami kaming napag-usapan pero ang pinaka-importante is nasa gym ka lang palagi nage-ensayo,” he said talking about his strategy.
“Importante lang makita ko na lumalaban sila sa training pa lang. Kasi pag na-down ka sa 1-4 tatamarin ka na hanggang huli,” added the coach. “Eh maganda naman ‘yung attitude nila sa practice at ayaw nila magpatalo. Alam nila kasi may ibubuga sila eh.”
With the win, the Lady Falcons’ campaign comes back to life as the fruits of their labor could send them to a possible 3-4 record at the end of the first round having the winless UE as their last assignment.
And for Meneses, there is nothing that a good heart-to-heart conversation couldn’t fix.
“Nung sa game sa UST nakita ko ‘yung team namin eh. Sabi ko nga, wala namang problemang hindi napag-uusapan,” he said.
Jema Galanza and Mylene Paat provided ample support to Roque as the veterans combined for 28 points.
For FEU, Bernadeth Pons’ 25 points and Toni Rose Basas’ 20 markers were in vain as the Morayta squad drops to a 3-3 record. — By Mac Dionisio