Adamson University had a daunting challenge at the start of the UAAP Season 85 Softball Tournament.
Not only did the Lady Falcons face the unknown “unseen” development of the other teams, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the graduation of key players contributed to a new outlook for the team.
However, with head coach Ana Santiago’s leadership and the Lady Falcons’ unwavering determination, they aimed for a 10th consecutive championship title, taking it one game at a time.
“Nung nakabalik na sila, nag-focus naman kasi sa preparations namin. Although sabi ko bagong feeling, kasi after three seasons walang softball. Sabi ko, bagong feeling, parang magsisimula uli kami,” Santiago recalled.
Santiago’s approach was different this time around. Instead of focusing on winning the championship, she reminded her team to take it one step at a time. “First step muna tayo. Huwag muna nating pag-usapan yung championship. Kailangan muna nating pumasok sa championship game.”
This mindset allowed the Lady Falcons to conquer the season one game at a time.
The Lady Falcons did stumble in the first round with a heartbreaking 11-inning defeat to University of the Philippines. However, they eventually redeemed themselves in the second round and sealed their spot in the championship game.
The dynasty continued, and the Lady Falcons claimed their 10th consecutive championship title with a stunning performance in the finals.
In Game 2 of the Finals series, two home runs from Jenette Rusia and Aliza Talasik sealed the Lady Falcons’ victory against the up-and-coming Fighting Maroons. Santiago, who has won multiple championships throughout her career, shared that this one is the sweetest.
“Ito na siguro yung pinaka-magiging sweetest because of the time, because of that one decade,” she said.
The winningest head coach in the sport and one of the most successful in the entire league is not looking too far ahead. For now, she wants to enjoy the moment and focus on the present.
“Actually ayoko nang isipin ‘yung mga darating pa na taon. Basta sa ‘kin, ang iniisip ko ‘tong this year, ito ‘yung pinaka-importante sa ‘kin.”