After a deflating 3-4 loss to the University of Santo Tomas Tiger Softbelles in Game One last Tuesday, decorated Adamson University Lady Falcons head coach Ana Santiago tinkered with her batting order.
“Hindi talaga ako nakatulog kagabi, pinag-iisipan ko talaga yung batting order ko,” disclosed Santiago.
“Lahat nagbago sa batting order ko, ni-reshuffle ko talaga.”
One of the biggest changes the multi-time champion tactician made was to demote Riezel Calumbres. Adamson’s skipper has been the lead-off batter for the Lady Falcons the entire season. In Game Two, however, the second basewoman was plugged as the penultimate batter in Adamson’s order.
According to Calumbres herself, it was justified. The 22-year-old, who is tasked to base hit and steal bases for Adamson, went 0-of-3 in Game One, striking out twice.
“Nandoon yung eagerness ko na bumawi, kasi wala talaga. Parang sinisi ko sarili ko last time. Isa ako sa dahilan kung bakit kami natalo,” the four-time UAAP champion recalled.
“So ngayon, gusto ko talaga lumaban, na isa rin ako sa mag-lealead sa team.”
And lead by example she did.
Down 0-3 early in Game Two, Calumbres drove in the first run of the game during the second inning. Then in the sixth inning, she slugged a double to contribute to the Lady Falcons’ game-breaking five run-inning, which led to their 8-5 win.
“Siguro, binaba niya ako pero hindi ibig sabihin nun na nawala yung tiwala eh.
“Pero kahit na may changes, tinanggap namin yun. We know naman sa first game hindi ako consistent, so first and second batter, kaming dalawa nag-usap,” she admitted, as Leslie Benabaye was also moved down to ninth batter. “Okay lang yan. Kahit saan kami mapunta. Basta maglaro tayo. Ilalaban natin to para sa team, hindi para sa sarili lang natin.”
“Winelcome nila yun. Usapan namin na hindi tayo mananalo sa individuals, mananalo tayo as a team. Sa pagbago ng batting order, i-embrace nila yun,” Santiago pointed out, proud that her players egos did not get in the way of their goal.
With the Finals reaching the distance, the graduating senior wants to leave the same legacy to Adamson just like her seniors.
“Sana, last playing year ko na. Lima kami. So, sa amin. Eto na ang taon. Maiwanan namin nang maganda ang resulta sa school. Para sa school, para sa team. Gusto namin maging maganda ang laro.”
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