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Up against Clare Castro, Ewon Arayi tells Lady Falcons to show ‘puso’ like Jimmy Alapag


After a humiliating opening day loss to the DLSU Lady Archers last September 9, Philippine team legend and first-year Adamson University Lady Falcons head coach Ewon Arayi made sure to not let her troops lose hope.

As a champion competitor herself, she knows how important positive influences are in building a championship squad.

That is why during the Lady Falcons’ 10-day break, Arayi used a lot of mediums to lift the spirits of her team.

“Actually, I let them watch motivational movies. I also let them talk to women’s basketball players from Adamson nung 2002 at 2007,” disclosed the 32-year-old former Perlas Pilipinas standout. “Sinasabi ko sa kanila yung feeling kung panu mag-champion. Sabi nila kasi, last time nila nag-champion high school pa.

“Every time kasi na naiisip mo yung feeling na mag-champion, na-momotivate ka e. Actually sabi ko nga, lahat ng players namin skilled pero kung sino ang may puso yun yung aangat.”

The Lady Falcons had been preparing to take on the historic National University Lady Bulldogs, but the game was postponed due to Typhoon Ompong. Waiting for them instead are the Far Eastern University Lady Tamaraws, who are headlined by 6-foot-5 center Clare Castro.

UAAP-81-Women-FEU-vs.-ADU-Castro-5647 Up against Clare Castro, Ewon Arayi tells Lady Falcons to show 'puso' like Jimmy Alapag AdU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

“Wala kaming pahinga. Sabi ko, hindi kami puwede magkadahilan na matalo. Ako, I stayed sa dorm nila for almost two days na.”

Arayi, who played with Castro in Perlas, knows how the center plays. She used this knowledge to help the Lady Falcons contain her. Though the Lady Falcons lacked size, the former National Team player – who stands at 5-foot-5 – knows that the game of basketball is not just about height, as she cited Gilas’ 5-foot-9 floor general Jimmy Alapag as an example.

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“Actually, knowing Clare, nakasama ko siya sa national team so I know how she plays. At lumaki si Clare. Ang laki niya ngayon,” she remarked.

“Ang point ko sa mga bata, kahit ganu ka kalaki, ang example ko sa kanila si Jimmy Alapag. Sa kanya nagsimula ang salitang puso. Maliit pero mautak.”

Castro still managed to tally 19 points, 18 rebounds, and eight blocks, but the Lady Falcons were able to pick up a 59-55 win. And it was 5-foot-9 Nathalia Prado who towed the team with 20 points and 12 rebounds.

UAAP-81-Women-FEU-vs.-ADU-Prado-5673 Up against Clare Castro, Ewon Arayi tells Lady Falcons to show 'puso' like Jimmy Alapag AdU Basketball News UAAP  - philippine sports news

Instead of trying to use their height as a weakness, Prado and the rest of the Lady Falcons countered it with wit.

“Kung malaki siya, pero kung mas mautak ka, mas matangkad ka. Dominante yan e so tapatan natin,” declared the rookie head coach.

“Kung ano yung strength mo, ibigay mo ng one-hundred percent kasi yung lang mabibigay mo e. Praise God, na-contain naman pero kahit dinadalawa na, lahat ng malaki ko pinagsasama-sama ko na, pero naka-produce pa rin.”

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