Adamson University Lady Falcons head coach Airess Padda calls it like she sees it.
The American mentor’s honesty was spiked with intense emotion on Saturday afternoon, after the Lady Falcons extended their semis series against the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons.
The loss, according to Padda, gave the Lady Falcons a new perspective.
“We have a really big opportunity here; to get our first championship as a team, to get our first championship under me. They just needed to get slapped around and understand that you don’t wanna blow you’re chance because you think you’re unstoppable,” said Padda.
“It was do-or-die today: kill-or-be-killed.”
With Game Three scheduled for tomorrow, Padda isn’t fretting about her players’ preparedness. She’s excited to see their reaction to another high-pressure situation.
“I’m excited to see what our team is really made of. This is going to be our biggest test before the UAAP. It’s gonna be a dogfight. It’s all about mental preparation now. They gotta go to sleep hungry, they gotta wake up hungry and be ready to fight.”
For a program still struggling for identity and bereft of success, simply making the finals of a preseason tournament brings a lot to the table.
“It’s a lot. One for the coaches to get into championship, even if we don’t win it, I think we need this because we need a pat on the back to see that we’re doing something right even if we don’t see it.
“These players have been together for at least two years. They need some sort of pay-off. All the hardwork isn’t for anything,” she recflected.
Most importantly, Padda feels that getting to the finals will get the dormant Adamson fanbase and students to watch their games.
“Lastly, we need this for our school, for our fanbase. Today, again, there was a crowd filled with UP fans,” she rued.
“If we haven’t done anything to persuade you to watch, getting into the championship, come on, you can’t not want to see your school compete for a championship.”